Kenneth E. Goodson

Principal Investigator

Ken Goodson is the Davies Family Provostial Professor and the Senior Associate Dean for Faculty & Academic Affairs in the School of Engineering. He holds appointments in Mechanical Engineering and (by courtesy) Materials Science and Engineering.  As Mechanical Engineering Chair & Vice Chair from 2008 to 2019, 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. His lab pioneered phonon free path measurements using silicon nanolayers and helped IC companies launch SOI, PCRAM, and other thermally-hard technologies. Current projects focus on power devices, vehicles, and data centers with ARPA-E, Google, Toyota, Intel, SRC, and NSF/POETS. Goodson has 35 patents and co-founded Cooligy, which built heat sinks for Apple and was acquired by Emerson.

Goodson is a member of the National Academy of Engineering and is a fellow with ASME, IEEE, APS, AAAS, and the National Academy of Inventors. He received the ASME Kraus Medal, the inaugural IEEE Chu Award, the AIChE Kern Award, the SRC Technical Excellence Award, and the Heat Transfer Memorial Award for Science.  Goodson’s PhD alumni include dozens at IC firms and 20+ faculty at MIT, UC Berkeley, Stanford, and other schools.

Goodson moonlights as a baritone oratorio soloist with Stanford groups and the San Francisco Choral Society in Davies Symphony Hall. He will sing the title role of Mendelssohn’s Elijah with Schola Cantorum in May 2020. His wife, Laura Dahl, is a concert pianist with the Stanford music faculty.