Management Science and Engineering
Karim Farhat is a PhD Candidate in the Department of Management Science and Engineering and a Graduate Research Fellow at the Steyer-Taylor Center for Energy Policy and Finance at Stanford University. At the intersection of energy technology, economics, and policy, Karim’s research focuses on developing mathematical models that help energy firms make better decisions when facing significant uncertainties.
Specifically, his current work addresses two topics. The first topic focuses on assessing the economics of polygeneration energy systems. Polygeneration uses multiple feedstocks (e.g. coal, biomass, natural gas) to generate multiple products (e.g. electricity, chemicals, fertilizers). These flexible systems hedge against volatile energy prices and complement renewables, making them a very attractive option for clean energy generation. Karim develops techno-economic models that compare the profitability of polygeneration to that of conventional facilities (e.g. coal plants or wind farms) while accounting for various market and policy uncertainties (e.g. competition or carbon tax). The second topic is centered on modeling competitive strategy of energy firms. Karim uses Decision Analysis to quantify competition among buyers, suppliers, substitutes, rivals, and potential new-entrants in a specific industry. The resulting decision model can then be used by business managers to evaluate profitability and strategically position in that industry. This technique has been tested in two energy industries: electric vehicles and residential solar photovoltaics in the US.
Karim continues to work extensively on carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS). His work has involved developing technical solutions and investment models that help make CCUS economical by linking it with enhanced oil recovery. In addition, he has developed a decision model for risk assessment and contingency planning for leakage of carbon dioxide from geologic storage reservoirs.
Karim holds an MS degree in Energy Resources Engineering from Stanford University, and a BS degree in Chemical Engineering from Texas A&M University. During his studies, he has held several internship positions at SunEdison (solar developer), Shell Technology Ventures, Shell Future Energy Technologies, and Shell Global Solutions. Karim also served as President of the Stanford Energy Club, the largest student organization at Stanford. Among other university awards and honors, he is the recipient of the 2009 Richard E. Ewing Award for Excellence in Student Research, and he was a member of the Stanford University delegation to the United Nations Conference of the Parties COP15 in Copenhagen, Denmark.