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Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment E-News Winter 2013

In This Issue

Certificate Program in Technology and Society launches new energy track

Funding enables collaborative research and enhances student experiences; more opportunities available

Corporate affiliates program connects leaders in academia and industry

Announcing new
faculty and staff

Q & A with Professor
Sigrid Adriaenssens

The Edge of Energy

Upcoming Seminars

February 11, 2013
Maureen McCann
Purdue University
A Roadmap for Selective Deconstruction of Lignocellulosic Biomass to Advanced Biofuels and Useful Co-Products

February 25, 2013
Frank Wolak
Stanford University
Using Economics to Increase the Intelligence of the Smart Grid

March 4, 2013
Richard Kauffman
U.S. Department of Energy
Topic TBA

April 15, 2013
Arumugam Manthiram
University of Texas at Austin
Electrical Energy Storage Technology

April 29, 2013
Mark Verbrugge
General Motors
Energy Storage & Batteries

All seminars held at 4:30 pm Computer Science 104
35 Olden Street

Message from the Director

Dear Friends,

I am very pleased to announce that beginning this spring semester, undergraduates in all departments will have the opportunity to choose a course of study focused on energy through the Certificate Program in Technology and Society. The energy track will provide primarily humanities and social science students a greater understanding of how energy sources have transformed society, the trade-offs between various energy technologies, the environmental impacts of our energy choices, and the public policy responses to climate change. The extent to which energy technologies impact our ability to thrive as a global society cannot be understated; the goal of this new track of study is to give all Princeton undergraduates the tools they need to evaluate the socioeconomic, political, and environmental effects of these technologies.

Students are also exploring the impact of energy on our society through new interdisciplinary courses. This past fall, Dr. Eric Larson and Professors Sankaran Sundaresan and Daniel Giammar taught a new course, “The Energy-Water Nexus.” The links between water and energy, and their ramifications for the availability of clean water and food, present a worldwide challenge. Courses such as “The Energy-Water Nexus” will help prepare Princeton students to respond to this challenge in a thoughtful way. This spring, Dr. Michael Schwartz, the Gerhard R. Andlinger Visiting Professor in Energy and the Environment, will teach our first graduate course, jointly offered with the Woodrow Wilson School, “Greening the U.S. Economy: Meeting the Technology, Policy, and Investment Challenge.” Dr. Schwartz will discuss the key sectors that comprise the U.S. energy industry, including commercial technologies, market drivers, and regulatory and public policies.

These collaborative initiatives demonstrate our faculty’s commitment to interdisciplinary scholarship and enthusiasm for working together to benefit Princeton students. I’m proud to work alongside such dedicated people who share the Andlinger Center’s goal of developing sustainable sources of energy, addressing the challenging environmental issues of our time, and training the next generation of leaders in energy and the environment.

Emily A. Carter
Founding Director, Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

Certificate Program in Technology and Society launches new energy track

The new energy track of the Certificate Program in Technology and Society, offered in partnership with the Keller Center, aims to bring together students from across divisions and provide them with a comprehensive program of courses, research, and activities in the subject of energy technologies and their impact on society and the environment. The track in energy was developed to offer students a greater understanding of the shaping, development, and deployment of energy solutions for the benefit of society, as well as a sense of the trade-offs that different solutions present. Courses such as “Engineering Design for Sustainable Development,” “Energy Solutions for the Next Century,” and “Environmental Implications of Energy Technologies” will allow students to explore these issues in depth. Information sessions are scheduled this spring semester.

Fireworks, Yunlai Zha, Electrical Engineering

Funding enables collaborative research and enhances student experiences; more opportunities available

The Andlinger Center has awarded seed funding for five collaborative faculty research projects through the Andlinger Innovation Fund. Faculty will investigate a wide variety of topics related to energy and the environment, including elastic structures for energy efficient architecture, new diagnostic methods for monitoring biofuel combustion, tropical cyclone risk assessment, the role of metals as fertilizers, and the solid electrolyte interphase layer of batteries. An interdisciplinary faculty committee selected the winning projects based on the innovative nature of the research, potential impact on the field, and the opportunities provided to graduate and postdoctoral students. Each team was awarded up to $100,000 in seed funding.

Acquisition of a Raman spectrometer and a spectroscopic ellipsometer for the Andlinger Center’s central facilities was made possible by a recent anonymous gift. This state-of-the art equipment, currently located in the Imaging and Analysis Center (IAC) in Bowen Hall, is available to qualified users in the Princeton research community.

The deadline is quickly approaching to apply for ACEE undergraduate summer internship opportunities; applications are due February 11. Funding will be provided for research projects, particularly field work and laboratory research, performed under the auspices of faculty doing research in areas related to the Andlinger Center’s mission.

The Center is also accepting faculty nominations for a graduate student fellowship supported by the Maeder Fund; nominations are due March 18. The winning student will receive a one-year fellowship to cover tuition and provide a stipend (a summer stipend may be included), beginning summer or fall semester 2013.

Watch for another request for proposals this spring: the Addy/ISN North American Fund will support innovative faculty research aimed at reducing carbon emissions and creating an energy self-sufficient North America. Each winning project will be awarded up to $100,000. Last year, the Addy Fund supported five projects undertaken by faculty in the engineering, chemistry, and geosciences departments.

William Levis, Pierre Oneid, and Robert Rosner participate in a nuclear energy panel discussion at Synergize 2012

Corporate affiliates program connects leaders in academia and industry

The Princeton Energy and Environment Corporate Affiliates Program hosted its inaugural annual meeting, Synergize 2012, on November 12 and 13. The event drew more than 150 attendees from both academia and industry. Keynote speaker Michel Di Capua, head of U.S. Analysis at Bloomberg New Energy Finance, addressed the implications of financial investment in the clean energy industry. Panel discussions on the environmental impact of hydraulic fracturing and the future of nuclear power sparked lively conversation, and more than 50 students and post-doctoral researchers had the opportunity to interact with industry leaders when they presented their research in a poster session during the evening reception.

The corporate affiliates program has granted its inaugural round of funding to two collaborative research projects. The interdisciplinary teams of faculty members and industry researchers will investigate processes for turning municipal solid waste into fuels and for reducing greenhouse gases emitted in making concrete.
Periodic updates on program activities will soon be published in a corporate affiliates program newsletter. Watch for the first edition this semester.


Announcing new faculty and staff

Daniel SteingartDaniel Steingart (pictured at left) has been appointed Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. He joined the faculty on February 1, 2013. Steingart comes to Princeton from the City College of New York (CCNY), where he was an assistant professor in the Department of Chemical Engineering with a specialization in energy systems. His research at CCNY examined the relationships between materials chemistry, materials processing, and electrochemical performance. Prior to CCNY, he served as chief technology officer of Wireless Industrial Technologies and as senior applications engineer at Sentilla Corporation.

Michael Schwartz, CEO of New Wave Energy Capital Partners, has been appointed Gerhard R. Andlinger Visiting Professor in Energy and the Environment. He will teach a new graduate course this spring semester, cross-listed with the Woodrow Wilson School: ENE 586/WWS 586H “Topics in STEP: Greening the U.S. Energy Economy: Meeting the Technology, Policy, and Investment Challenge.” The course is targeted to graduate students, as well as juniors and seniors in the School of Engineering, the Woodrow Wilson School, and other departments, who possess strong interests in federal policy, the dynamics of private sector investment, sustainability, and the geopolitics of energy. Dr. Schwartz received his Ph.D. from Princeton in Chemical Engineering and has held senior management positions at Duke Energy, MidAtlantic Energy Group, Conoco, and Shell Oil.

Robin Hauer has joined us as the Business Development Manager for the Princeton Energy and Environment Corporate Affiliates Program. Robin will work with Professor Lynn Loo, Andlinger Center Deputy Director, to further build the program and steward relationships with corporate members, faculty, administrators, students, and postdocs. 

Q & A with Professor Sigrid Adriaenssens

Sigrid AdriaenssensThe question Sigrid Adriaenssens (pictured left) asks is not whether a structure can be built, but rather, if it should be built. As an assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering, a recurring theme in her research and teaching is the search for the optimal form — one that considers elegance, efficiency, and economics in addition to stability and serviceability. She was recently awarded a grant from the Andlinger Center to study elastic structures for energy-efficient architecture with her collaborator, Professor Axel Kilian of Princeton’s School of Architecture. Adriaenssens spoke with the Center about her research, teaching, and how structures can respond to their environments.

Read the full article here.

The Edge of Energy

Andrew Bocarsly and Emily Cole *09A recent article by Catherine Zandonella in the 2012 issue of DISCOVERY: Research at Princeton spotlights some of the most innovative energy technologies in development at Princeton today. Researchers are exploring ways to run combustion backwards by turning carbon dioxide and water back into fuel, to redesign wind turbines for greater efficiency, and to create solar cell charging stations. These innovations could change the ways we produce and use renewable energy, bringing us closer to a sustainable energy future.

Read the full article here.
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