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The TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy harnesses the skills and creativity of Stanford University's leading science, technology, and policy experts to transform the world's energy systems for a sustainable future.  It was established in 2009 with a gift made by Stanford alumni and husband-and-wife team Tom and Kat.


The TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy works to transform the world's energy systems by:

  • Identifying key challenges and defining research agendas

  • Carrying out evaluation and analysis

  • Challenging our faculty to form interdisciplinary groups to provide new approaches to problem solving

  • Developing methods for analysis that will be adopted by other practitioners

  • Performing systems-level and cross-disciplinary research

  • Facilitating translation to actual applied technology

  • Proposing and deploying innovative solutions


To maximize our impact we engage in strategic activities to accomplish our goals.

  • Research Provide seed-grant funding to early stage faculty research to develop transformational sustainable energy technologies

  • Outreach Support events and publications

  • Education Support the development of the next generation of energy leaders by providing sustainable-energy educational opportunities to students campus-wide through course grants, summer internships, and by supporting student-led initiatives and activities

  • Innovation Transfer Provide resources, including seed funding, to Stanford teams to develop and externalize practical, commercializable, sustainable energy solutions



To achieve sustainability goals, the university has established core principles related to academia, planning, and operations.


  • Advance sustainability knowledge

  • Establish sustainability as a core value

  • Minimize environmental footprint and preserve the ecosystem


"Stanford University fully engages in sustainability challenges through research programs, projects and

partnerships; campus buildings and student residences; energy, water, dining and transportation operations;

and many courses, academic programs and learning activities.  The Stanford community aspires to the

goal of human wellbeing across generations and around the world, and is committed to including

social, ethical, economic, ecological, environmental and resource considerations in decision making.  

We hope every student at Stanford shares this goal and learns how to engage effectively in reaching it."

-John Etchemendy, Stanford University Provost, 2000-2017