Bou-Zeid, ElieCivil and Environmental Engineering
Combining numerical, experimental, and analytical tools, Bou-Zeid and colleagues study the basic dynamics of flow and transport in environmental systems, with a focus on how these dynamics relate to problems in energy, hydrology, atmospheric sciences, and air quality. The current research interests of the Bou-Zeid group center on measurements and simulations of thermal exchanges between buildings and the atmosphere; urban microclimatology and hydrology; boundary layer meteorology and the representation of the atmospheric boundary layer in weather and climate models; environmental fluid mechanics and turbulence; nested multiscale modeling, and wireless sensor networks.
Brunnermeier, SmitaWoodrow Wilson School
Dr. Smita Brunnermeier is an environmental economist who builds micro-econometric models to analyze the policy causes and consequences of interactions between human or corporate behavior and environmental services. She has researched the social welfare impacts of regulating hazardous air and water pollutants, the effects of regulation on industry location decisions (pollution haven’s hypothesis and carbon leakage), the drivers of pollution reduction and energy efficiency technologies, the links between corporate environmental and financial performance, and land use dynamics in urban environments. She is also keenly interested in issues at the intersection of economic development and environmental protection. She earned a PhD in Economics from Vanderbilt University in 1998 and has been a lecturer in Economics at Princeton since 1999. She has taught courses on environmental and natural resource economics, sustainable development and microeconomics, and advised over a hundred junior independent papers and senior theses on environmental topics at Princeton.
Craft, AmyWoodrow Wilson School
Dr. Craft is an economist specializing in energy regulation and policy. Before coming to Princeton, Dr. Craft worked in the Antitrust Division of the Department of Justice analyzing mergers and acquisitions in the electricity sector. While at Princeton, she has taught courses on several topics, including energy economics, environmental economics and risk analysis.
Her research interests broadly lie in the area of energy market structure and regulation, particularly in the electricity sector. Given the complexities and environmental consequences associated with both the demand and supply side of energy, there is room for regulation to improve market efficiency.
Unfortunately, many economic policies, such as a tax on greenhouse gases, are not politically feasible. Dr. Craft is interested in evaluating the efficiency of other policies. In particular, she is interested in looking at the incentives they create for technological change in how we produce and consume energy.
Deike, LucMechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Research focuses on multi-phase turbulent systems, involving waves, drops and bubbles in turbulent environment. We develop laboratory and numerical experiments to explore the physics at play and build simple models. Our work is motivated by environmental and industrial applications, as diverse as the statistics of waves in the ocean, wave impact on structures, floating ice sheet, gas transfer by surface breaking waves in the ocean, spray dynamics and cloud formation in the atmosphere.
Past work has focused on diverse subjects than can be summarized in the three following areas: 1) the role of wave breaking in air-sea interaction, 2) wave turbulence and 3) hydro-elastic waves.
Future work will involve turbulence in two-fluids systems, such as droplets/bubbles in a turbulent environment, as well as further studies on non-linear waves.
Research Interests: Atmospheric problems ranging from cloud microphysics and radiation to large-scale dynamics; mechanisms of interactions between different processes on different scales, and how this interaction leads to the climate as we know it. Global warming; stratospheric water; clouds; Kelvin waves; tracers and dynamics; tropical tropopause layer; and the global hydrological cycle.
Glaser, AlexanderMechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Research in the Glaser group focuses on the technical aspects of nuclear-fuel-cycle technologies and policy questions related to nuclear energy and nuclear-weapon proliferation. New nuclear reactor concepts and fundamentally different approaches for the management of nuclear energy may be necessary to manage a growing and diverse nuclear energy sector. Glaser and colleagues also work on improving the characterization of nuclear power in models for climate policy-making. They examine how nuclear power is implemented in these models with particular attention to the assumptions made about availability and costs of uranium resources, the costs of reprocessing and the capital cost difference between light-water and breeder reactors. This also includes examining the sensitivity of modeling results to alternate assumptions about key parameters. Research in this area will clarify the role of nuclear power vis-à-vis its competitors and also help set priorities for what kinds of nuclear technologies should be developed.
Larson, EricAndlinger Center for Energy and the Environment
Larson’s research interests include engineering, economic, and policy-related assessments of advanced clean-energy systems, especially for electric power and transport fuels production from carbonaceous fuels (biomass, coal, and/or natural gas) and for efficient end use of energy. His work addresses technologies of relevance to developed and developing countries. Larson maintains long-term collaborations on energy and sustainability with colleagues in China (Tsinghua University and the North China Electric Power University) and in Australia (University of Queensland). He has also participated in collaborative research efforts with colleagues across the United States and in Brazil, Cuba, India, Italy, Jamaica, Sweden, and elsewhere. He is currently collaborating with ecologists at the University of Minnesota in an effort to better understand the potential of alternative biomass resource/conversion options to sustainably deliver negative carbon emission transportation in the US by mid-century. Larson was part of the Princeton team that contributed extensive analysis to the National Research Council report, America’s Energy Future: Technology and Transformation (2009). He was also the Co-Convening Lead Author of the Fossil Energy chapter of The Global Energy Assessment (2012) and a Lead Author (bioenergy) of the Renewable Energy chapter. Past research efforts have included ones focused on analysis of technology systems for modernizing renewable-biomass as an energy source, including advanced gasification-based technologies for power generation and for production of transportation fuels. These efforts have included assessments of potential gas-turbine based biomass electricity supply and use in sugarcane industries, in pulp and paper industries, and in stand-alone electric power generation. Recent work has focused on analysis of fossil fuel/biomass co-processing systems with CO2 capture and storage, for co-production of clean transportation fuels and electricity. Larson supervises student research and occasionally teaches courses in the engineering school at Princeton. Since 2008, he has also held an appointment as a Senior Scientist with Climate Central, a nonprofit, non-partisan science and media organization created to provide clear and objective science-based information to diverse audiences about climate change and its potential solutions.
Adam Maloof joined the faculty in 2006. Research in Maloof’s Earth history group relies on original field observations, at the scale of maps, rock outcrops, and thin sections.
The group’s current focus involves using sedimentary and volcanic rocks to extract information about Earth’s ancient magnetic field and the relative motion of continents, perturbations to the global carbon cycle, and the coevolution of life and climate.
Manabe, SyukuroAtmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
In the early 1960’s, Manabe and colleagues developed a radiative-convective model of the atmosphere, and explored the role of greenhouse gases such as water vapor, carbon dioxide and ozone in maintaining and changing the thermal structure of the atmosphere. This was the beginning of the long-term research on global warming, which Manabe has continued until now in collaborating with the staff members of Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory (GFDL) of NOAA.
In the late 1960’s, Kirk Bryan and Manabe began to develop a general circulation model of the coupled atmosphere-ocean-land system, which eventually became a very powerful tool for the simulation of global warming. Furthermore, the team have realized that a coupled model simulates well the low frequency variability of climate. This encouraged them to use a coupled model for exploring not only global warming but also unforced, natural variability of climate from seasonal to centennial time scales.
The analysis of deep sea sediments and continental ice sheets indicates that the Earth’s climate has fluctuated greatly during the geological past. Throughout Manabe’s career, past climate changes have posed many challenging questions, which he has tried to answer using climate models with various complexity.
Mauzerall, DeniseWoodrow Wilson School
Professor Mauzerall’s research examines linkages between air pollution origin, transport and impacts, including impacts on human health, food security and climate change. She explores potential co-benefits of reductions in air pollutants (e.g., black carbon) for climate change and public health and the benefits of reduction in greenhouse gases (e.g., methane) on air quality, health and agricultural yields.
Recent research has assessed the climatic benefit of black carbon mitigation and the transport of black carbon to the Himalayas and Tibetan Plateau; evaluated the global reductions in crop production due to present and potential future ozone exposure as well as the benefits of methane mitigation and careful cultivar selection in reducing future agricultural crop losses due to ozone exposure; evaluated inter-continental transport of fine aerosols and their impact on public health; and estimated the impact of present and potential future emissions of aerosols from China on global air quality, premature mortality and radiative forcing.
Current research is examining the impact of past and future climate change on air pollutant surface concentrations and the associated impacts on global premature mortality; evaluating the feasibility of including nitrous oxide, which is both an ozone depleting and greenhouse gas, in the successful Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer international treaty; evaluating the source-receptor relationships of black carbon emissions from around the world; and examining the benefits to air quality in China of increased penetration of wind power.
Forrest Meggers came to the School in 2013 from the National University of Singapore and the Singapore-ETH Centre’s Future Cities Laboratory. His fields of knowledge include building systems design and integration; sustainable systems; renewable energy; optimization of energy systems; exergy analysis; geothermal; seasonal energy storage; low temp hybrid solar; building materials; thermodynamics and heat transfer; and heat pumps. He was previously Assistant Professor in the School of Design and Environment, Department of Architecture at the NUS. He went to Singapore as a Senior Researcher to develop new low exergy building systems for the tropics where as Module Coordinator he led the research of 5 PhD students and built and transported a novel building laboratory, BubbleZERO from Zurich to Singapore. Previously in Zurich, Switzerland he worked as a Researcher for the Building Systems Group at the ETH Zurich and directed research on sustainable systems for the president of the ETH Board. Originally a native of Iowa, Forrest worked on many sustainability projects at the University of Iowa, and worked with Jim Hansen, renowned climatologist at Colombia University and director of NASA GISS, as a Researcher on US Building Stock CO2 emissions. His recent publications include “Reduce CO2,” and “EOL, COP, PVT, TABS, and LowEx,” In Re-inventing Construction. (Ruby Press, Berlin 2010); “The Reference Environment: Utilizing Exergy and Anergy for Buildings,” International Journal of Exergy. 11(4) 2012; “An Innovative Use of Renewable Ground Heat for Insulation in Low Exergy Building Systems,” Energies 2012, 5(8); “Low exergy building system implementation,” Energy, 2012 41(1); and over 20 conference papers. Meggers presented the keynote address “The Hidden Potential: through green building to sustainable nation” at the launch of the Green Building Council Indonesia in Jakarta, and has served on several committees for the USGBC.
Mueller, MichaelMechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Prof. Mueller’s research focuses on high-fidelity computational modeling of turbulent reacting flows. Capabilites range from full-fidelity Direct Numerical Simulation (DNS) of canonical problems to understand the fundamental interactions between turbulence and chemistry to high-fidelity Large Eddy Simulation (LES) applied to practical engineering systems such as gas turbine combustors and reciprocating engines. One of the principal objectives of his research is the development of models for engineering calculations from the fundamental understanding gleaned from the first-principles calculations. Current topics of interest include pollutant emissions (soot, NOx), liquid sprays, thermal radiation, and thermo-acoustic instabilites.
As a tool to study and model physical and chemical phenomena, his research also includes areas of computational science and applied mathematics. Current interests in this area include the development of numerical methods appropriate for turbulent reacting flows on both structured and unstructed computational grids, the associated parallel algorithms for high-performance computing, and the development of algorithms for Uncertainty Quantification (UQ) in turbulent reacting flows.
Pacala, StephenEcology and Evolutionary Biology
Steve’s interests include the processes that govern ecological communities, the interplay between community and ecosystem-level processes, and the interactions between the global biosphere and climate. Pacala’s research involves all aspects of the global carbon cycle; currently he is focusing on a new model for the terrestrial biosphere. Ph.D. Stanford University.
Peters, CatherineCivil and Environmental Engineering
Dr. Peters works in the areas of environmental chemistry, geochemistry, and reactive transport. She is particularly interested in reaction kinetics, and her work typically combines laboratory experimentation with mathematical modeling to infer reaction rates for a variety of environmental systems. She and her research group are currently studying the geochemical reactions that are important for geologic sequestration of CO2 in deep saline aquifers. She is particularly interested in the kinetics of these reactions and determining which reactions are likely to be important on the time-scales operative for CO2 storage. She has also addressed research problems involving contamination of water and soils with organic pollutants, particularly non-aqueous phase liquids (NAPLs) containing polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.
Philander, GeorgeAtmospheric and Oceanic Sciences
The ocean is curiously cold. Even in regions where surface temperatures are at a maximum, the average temperature of a water column is barely above the freezing point. The reason is the shallowness of the thermocline, the interface between the layer of warm surface water and the much colder deep abyss. So shallow is the thermocline that a change in its slope, because of a change in the winds, alters sea surface temperature patterns. Those patterns in turn affect the winds. This circular argument – the winds are both the cause and consequence of surface temperature changes – imply unstable ocean-atomsphere interactions that give rise to phenomena such as El Niño and La Niña. One of my research interests concerns those interactions.
Why is the ocean so cold? What processes determine the thermal structure of the ocean? The answer is of vital importance for a variety of reasons, including the possibility that a deepening of the thermocline, in response to global warming for example, can result in permanent El Niño conditions. We are developing models to explore this possibility, but how will we check the results? Some of the very different climates the Earth has experienced during its long history probably involved changes in the thermal structure of the ocean. (The Earth was far colder than it is today during the last Ice Ages some 20,000 years ago. It was far warmer than today some three million years ago.) These are the reasons for my interest in paleo-climates.
Powell, WarrenOperations Research and Financial Engineering
Warren Powell works on optimization problems in energy in the presence of different sources of uncertainty. His major project as director of the Princeton laboratory for ENergy Systems Analysis (PENSA) is the development of a high-resolution simulator, SMART-ISO, of the PJM power grid, but he has also worked on problems that span optimal control of storage in the presence of stochastic supply (wind), prices and loads, management of electric vehicles, hedging of electricity commitments, optimizing wind farms (in the U.S. and China), management of energy usage and storage in buildings, and planning geothermal investments in the Philippines. He is interested in models that accurately capture the flow of information, and the design of strategies for dealing with different sources of uncertainty.
Steingart, DanielCivil and Environmental Engineering
Research in the Steingart group primarily focuses on Energy storage; metallurgical process efficiency; low cost long cycle life batteries; discrete power electronics; printed, flexible, stretchable batteries; in situ electrochemistry; power – energy control circuits and hybrid design.
Vecchi is a professor of geosciences and the Princeton Environmental Institute whose research focuses on climate science and extreme weather events, hurricanes, mechanisms of precipitation variability and change, ocean-atmosphere interaction, and detection and attribution. He is co-director the Cooperative Institute for Modeling the Earth System, a collaboration between Princeton and the Geophysical Fluid Dynamics Laboratory. Vecchi also is director of PEI’s Climate and Energy Challenge.
Wagner, SigurdElectrical Engineering
Sigurd Wagner is seeking to introduce fundamentally new electronic materials. He has been working in three areas: (i) new materials for solar cells; (ii) hydrogenated amorphous silicon; and (iii) flexible, conformably shaped and stretchable large-area displays, electrotextiles, and electronic skin. At present he is developing an environmental barrier layer for organic electronics, and is collaborating with colleagues on the integration of flexible electronics into complete systems. Beginning with work at Bell Laboratories, where he co-invented the CuInSe2 (CIS), CuInS2, and Cu2CdSnS4 solar cells, among others, he has had a long-standing interest in solar energy conversion.
Wysocki, GerardElectrical Engineering
Wysocki conducts research that is primarily focused on the development of mid-infrared laser spectroscopic instrumentation for applications in trace-gas detection and chemical sensing. The target applications range from atmospheric chemistry, environmental detection and bio-medical research, to industrial emission monitoring and process control.
His current research interests include development of new tunable mid-infrared lasers and their applications to multi-species molecular detection, studies of new molecular dispersion sensing techniques for in-situ and remote chemical analysis and quantification, mid-infrared radiometry for passive atmospheric sounding and development of distributed laser-spectroscopic sensor networks for real-time, large-area, in-situ trace-gas monitoring and pollution mapping.