PROVIDENCE, R.I. [Brown University] — A new initiative at Brown University will convene researchers from multiple fields of study with the goal of developing solutions in three areas of sustainable energy that are critical for mitigating climate change and its dire consequences.
Building on years of work at Brown in sustainable energy systems, the new Initiative for Sustainable Energy will focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable fuels and materials — research areas expected to grow rapidly in the coming decades as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continue to rise.
The initiative’s mission is to propel breakthrough technological innovations — in sustainable battery systems, wind and water turbines, zero-carbon fuels and energy-efficient materials, for example — toward a secure, equitable and net-zero-carbon energy future, while also preparing the next-generation of sustainable energy leaders.
“The launch of this initiative comes at a critical juncture in the fight against climate change as its impacts become even more readily apparent in everyday life, heightening the urgent demand for solutions,” said Larry Larson, interim provost at Brown and emeritus dean of the University’s School of Engineering. “Our goal is to spur increased technological research on sustainability across campus in a way that leads to positive change at local, national and global levels.”
As the University works to implement a plan to propel research across all fields of study to new levels of excellence, the new initiative will help advance Brown's interdisciplinary research portfolio in a critical area of focus, Sustaining Life on Earth, outlined in the University's Building on Distinction strategic plan. The collaborative initiative will serve as a hub for existing climate-related technology efforts across Brown, pulling together researchers from the School of Engineering, Department of Physics, Department of Earth, Environmental and Planetary Sciences, Department of Chemistry, and Department of Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, among others.
Brown engineering professor Nitin Padture will serve as founding director, 20 faculty members will serve as core members of the initiative, and approximately 60 others will be affiliate members.