Brown University has launched a new initiative to drive technological advances in sustainable energy and prepare the next generation of leaders in net-zero-carbon energy solutions. The Initiative for Sustainable Energy will bring together researchers from multiple fields of study to develop solutions in three critical areas of sustainable energy: renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable fuels and materials.
The initiative will focus on research areas expected to grow rapidly in the coming decades as carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere continue to rise. Its mission is to propel breakthrough technological innovations toward a secure, equitable, and net-zero-carbon energy future while also preparing the next generation of sustainable energy leaders.
Larry Larson, interim provost at Brown and emeritus dean of the University’s School of Engineering, said, “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. 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.”
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.
The initiative’s focus on renewable energy, energy efficiency, and sustainable fuels and materials is expected to mitigate climate change and its dire consequences significantly. Building on years of work at Brown in sustainable energy systems, the new initiative will drive technological advances in sustainable battery systems, wind and water turbines, zero-carbon fuels, and energy-efficient materials.
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.
Launching the Initiative for Sustainable Energy comes at a time when the need for sustainable energy solutions is more urgent than ever. Climate change is already significantly impacting the planet, and the consequences will only become more severe if action is not taken soon.