Sustainability Research at Rensselaer
• Goal of Sustainability Research – the creation of
enlightened public policy, knowledge and new
technology which addresses how humankind
interacts with the biosphere and geosphere so that
the three E’s (environment, economy and social
equity) are maintained in proper balance and in a
sustainable manner.
• There are numerous Rensselaer faculty and research
staff currently involved in Sustainability research. For
the sake of brevity, the remaining slides will only
highlight the activities of major Centers or initiatives
within the Institute.
• Institute Research Centers
– Center for Future Energy Systems – Renewable energy
(solar, wind, bioenergy), smart lighting, smart displays, fuel
cells and hydrogen, distributed generation test grid
– Center for Automation Technologies and Systems (CATS) –
Energy-efficient manufacturing processes, fuel cell design
& manufacturing, power distribution & transmission.
– Future Chips Constellation - focus is on compound
semiconductor materials and devices to enable substantial
and significant advances in communications, lighting,
sensing, and imaging (e.g., brightest light-emitting diodes,
highest-efficiency lasers)
• School of Architecture
– Center for Architectural Science and Ecology – Implement
changes to the practice of urban building systems design in
three priority areas: energy consumption; sustainable
resource management; and quality of access to essential
resources including fresh air, clean water, natural daylight,
plant and animal life.
– Lighting Research Center – Energy-efficient outdoor and
indoor lighting, lighting controls, daylighting to reduce
powered lighting, solid-state lighting
• School of Engineering
– Center for Infrastructure and Transportation Studies –
Increasing energy-efficiency of civil infrastructure (e.g.,
wireless Advanced Traveler Information System)
– Baruch ’60 Center for Biochemical Solar Energy Research –
Understanding the energy converting power of plants to
develop new technologies that mimic this extremely
efficient natural system.
• School of Science
– Darrin Fresh Water Institute – study of fresh water systems
and ecological processes including water quality
monitoring, invasive species monitoring, aquatic plant
ecology, pollution chemistry, impacts of wastewater
discharges, effect of acid rain, aquatic habitat modeling,
and microbial and phytoplankton community diversity.
– Center for Polymer Synthesis – Polymers from cellulose
waste products, membranes for high-temp. fuel cells
• School of Humanities, Arts, and Social Sciences
– Ecological economics, values and policy (EEVP) program
– Environmental social sciences (ESS) program
– Design, innovation, and society (DIS) program.
• Lally School of Business
– Severino Center for Technological Entrepreneurship –
Develops ways of growing ‘green’ businesses