Graduate Research Fellow
Karim Farhat is a Ph.D. 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. Karim’s research cuts across energy technology, economics, and policy, focusing on developing mathematical models that help energy firms make better decisions when facing significant uncertainties.
Karim’s current work centers on assessing the economic value of “polygeneration” energy systems. Polygeneration uses multiple fuel stocks (e.g. coal, biomass, natural gas) to generate multiple products (e.g. electricity, chemicals, fertilizers), and it can be coupled with carbon-capture technologies. These flexible systems can hedge against volatile energy prices and complement renewables, making then 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).
Karim’s work also centers on modeling competitive strategy of energy firms. He uses in-depth analytical tools to quantify competition among buyers, suppliers, substitutes, rivals, and potential new- entrants in a specific industry. Business managers can use the resulting decision models to evaluate profitability and strategically position their company in energy industries. Karim has tested this technique in the electric vehicle and residential solar photovoltaics industries in the U.S.
Furthermore, 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 geologic leaks of carbon dioxide.
Karim holds an M.S. degree in Energy Resources Engineering from Stanford University, and a B.S. 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.