As Mechanical Engineering Chair & Vice Chair (2008-2019), Ken Goodson led two strategic plans and recruited 15 faculty who transformed the department's scholarship and diversity.
Goodson specializes in heat transfer and electronics cooling, with an emphasis on nanoscale conduction, microfluidic heat sinks, and basic transport physics. His lab pioneered phonon free path measurements using silicon nanolayers and helped IC companies launch SOI, PCRAM, and other thermally-hard technologies. Current projects address power devices, vehicles, and data centers with ARPA-E, Google, Toyota, Intel, Bosch, SRC/ASCENT, and NSF/POETS. Goodson has 35 patents and co-founded Cooligy, which built heat sinks for Apple products and was acquired by Emerson.
Goodson is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and a Fellow with ASME, IEEE, APS, AAAS, and the National Academy of Inventors. He received the ASME Kraus Medal, inaugural IEEE Richard Chu Award, AIChE Kern Award, SRC Technical Excellence Award, and the Heat Transfer Memorial Award for Science. His PhD alums include dozens at IC firms and 20+ Professors at MIT, UC Berkeley, and other schools.
Goodson moonlights as a baritone oratorio soloist. Appearances include Davies Symphony Hall with the SF Choral Society and, in May 2020, the title role in Mendelssohn’s Elijah with Schola Cantorum. His wife, Laura Dahl, is a concert pianist with the Stanford music faculty.