Chandrakant Patel, HP senior fellow and director of the Sustainable Ecosystems Research Group at HP Labs, brings tremendous enthusiasm to his profession. He often says "I am as excited Friday night as I am on Monday morning." For more than 20 years, Chandrakant has played a central role in making HP a leader in energy-efficient computing. His research with HP Labs in the early 1990s led to the next generation of microprocessors and data centers. Later that decade, Chandrakant began investigating the concept of "smart data centers" that dynamically provision computing, power, and cooling for optimum efficiency.
More recently, he has extended his research beyond data centers to cities in what he refers to as "City 2.0." His vision is to create more sustainable urban infrastructures by embedding IT to monitor and manage resources, such as water, power, and waste. "It's not just about making a better handheld device or a better desktop computer. It's about using those devices to make a better future," he says.
Experience has taught Chandrakant that building a more sustainable world requires a diversity of expertise. He assembled and leads a multidisciplinary team of mechanical engineers, computer scientists, and even an economist—all collaborating to build solutions that are holistic and comprehensive. "I have built a very dedicated and passionate team. They are all here because they want to address society's needs."
Chandrakant's passion for a more sustainable future doesn't begin or end at the lab. As he has done for the past 20 years, he starts and ends his days by taking San Francisco Bay Area public transportation to and from work, often engaged in animated conversations with colleagues, and he carries a sketchbook to capture ideas whenever they come to him. He's also a prolific writer—having published numerous articles and more than 125 papers, many on the importance of implementing sustainable IT.
Chandrakant sees boundless potential to create business and social value through sustainability. "I wish I was 20 years younger, because there are so many advancements that lie ahead," he says. "We are not limited by technology. The challenges—and the opportunities—are in how we apply IT for sustainability."