Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

MAE 297 Seminar – Professor Kurt Kornbluth

 Kurt Kornbluth, Ph.D. 
UC Davis – Department of Engineering and Biological Sciences 

The UC Davis D-Lab: A project-based hands-on approach to learning design


(on it’s way)

About the Speaker

Dr. Kurt Kornbluth is the founder and director of the UC Davis Program for International Energy Technology (PIET) and the UC Davis D-Lab ( He holds a PhD in Mechanical and Aeronautical Engineering from UC Davis and is a UC Davis Graduate School of Management Business Development Fellow as well as an NSF IGERT fellow. His dissertation focused on the effect of hydrogen enrichment on landfill gas-fired IC engines. 

Dr. Kornbluth’s current research areas include hybrid fossil fuel/renewable electrical grids, and sustainable, low-carbon energy technologies for the developed and developing world. In addition to cars, motorcycles, and general cool technology, he has a passion for energy, international development, and music. 

From 1993 to 2003, Dr. Kornbluth worked with Whirlwind Wheelchair International (WWI), managing and implementing technology projects in Africa and Central America.  He led the 8-year project, “Networking and Capacity building Wheelchair production in East Africa”, a cooperative effort between the Finish Government, a local Zambian NGO (DISACARE), and WWI which established a Regional Resource and Training Center for wheelchair production in LUSAKA.

In 2005, Dr. Kornbluth was the engineer onsite in Bangladesh for the “Emergence” village micro-utility project spearheaded by Iqbal Quadir (Founder of Grameen Phone) and Dean Kamen (Inventor of the Segway).  He led the pilot study on-site, which electrified two rural communities in Bangladesh, and holds a patent for his venturi-based biogas fuel system designed specifically for the DEKA Stirling Engine.

Kurt worked with Amy Smith at the MIT D-Lab during its inception and in 2008 created the D-Lab at UC Davis. In 2012 The UC Davis D-Lab was one of 6 international Universities named for a USAID “Higher Education Solutions Network” grant to build and develop a worldwide network of design for development innovation centers. Dr. Kornbluth currently teaches 3 hands-on project-based courses at UC Davis: D-Lab I & II (Energy and Development), and A Path to Zero-Net Energy (

Date(s) - 04/17/2014
4:10 pm - 5:00 pm

1062 Bainer Classroom


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