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In This Issue

E-ffiliates news: the annual meeting

Building Opening Celebration

Opportunities for students

Keeping cool: exhibit and conference explored innovative ways
to make buildings comfortable

Faculty spotlight:
Mitchell J. Small


Upcoming Highlight Seminars

Feb. 8, 2016
Karen Scrivener
Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne

March 7, 2016
Venkat Srinivasan
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

March 21, 2016
Ned R. Sauthoff
Oak Ridge National Laboratory

April 25, 2016
James C. Liao

Message from the Director

Dear Friends,

In November, the new building for the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment (ACEE) at Princeton University finally opened its doors after over three years of construction. This beautiful structure weaves together elements of gray brick and glass with gardens that incorporate native plants. The building also has energy efficient features such as green roofs, natural lighting and ventilation, water recycling, and radiant heating and cooling. Through its distinctive design - which accommodates high-tech facilities, collaborative spaces, and many sustainable features - the building is truly a physical manifestation of the center’s mission: finding solutions to the world’s energy needs while protecting the planet and its resources for future generations to come.
While some labs are up and running and the administrative staff has moved in, workers are still fine tuning some portions of the building such as the cleanrooms and imaging and analysis center. Once fully operational, the building will usher in a new era of growth and research.
In front of the building, the Princeton University Art Museum unveiled a remarkable sculpture by world-renowned artist Ursula von Rydingsvard. Originally sculpted from rough-hewn cedar, the groundbreaking piece resembles an abstracted tree trunk and is made of hammered copper that is already acquiring an appealing patina. At night under illumination, it glows like a beacon.
A flurry of press attention has accompanied the unveiling of the building and the sculpture. Princeton Alumni Weekly did two feature articles on the structure’s design and the research happening within its walls. The University’s School of Engineering and Applied Science recently published a special edition of EQuad news focused on the center, its architecture, and the many fruitful collaborations between researchers at Andlinger Center. And there were other press mentions in newspapers across the United States about the center as well.
Rarely has a laboratory building been designed with both function and aesthetics so fully satisfied. We can’t wait to share it more publicly during the Building Opening Celebration and Symposium in May. There will be an official building dedication, including ribbon cuttings, and the symposium will feature thought-provoking talks by leaders in energy and environmental science, government, and industry. More details on the event are below.
The new building has already been a great catalyst for the center’s activities, as you will read further in this newsletter. The building’s opening could scarcely be timelier, given the successful Paris climate talks that followed in December. With so many countries finally agreeing to combat climate change and limit greenhouse gas emissions, the Andlinger Center’s research and educational activities are more important than ever. The only way for the agreement to succeed is clear: We must foster and deploy a diverse set of energy technologies and policies such as those being investigated here at Princeton, as well as train the next generation, who will continue what will be a decades-long effort.

─ Emily A. Carter

Founding Director

E-ffiliates news: the annual meeting

Franklin (Lynn) Orr, undersecretary for science and energy at the U.S. Department of Energy, gave the keynote speech at the fourth annual meeting for the Princeton E-ffiliates Partnership, which aims to foster academic and industry collaboration on energy technologies and environmental policy. The event drew researchers, students and corporate leaders at Princeton University on Nov. 20, 2015. (Photo by David Kelly Crow)

Researchers, students, and corporate leaders gathered on November 20 for the fourth annual meeting of the Princeton E-ffiliates Partnership, which forges ties between university researchers and industry partners on the issues of energy and the environment. The meeting was also the first large-scale event held at ACEE’s Maeder Hall.
The day-long event featured two panels, several presentations by faculty members, and a student poster session. The two panels analyzed solar energy’s future and the impact of the recent decrease in oil and gas prices on renewable energy technologies. Researchers discussed their research on designing wind and water turbines, self-regenerating batteries, the impact of behavior on environmental policy, and the benefits of a science-based approach to creating environmental policies in the European Union.
Franklin (Lynn) Orr, undersecretary for science and energy at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), was the keynote speaker. During his talk, Orr presented an overview of the DOE’s 2015 Quadrennial Technology Review and talked about the importance of renewable energy technologies.
Videos from the event can be accessed here. To read more in detail about the meeting, click on this link.

Anne Hoskins, a commissioner on the Maryland Public Service Commission, spoke at the event on a panel about falling oil prices, fracking and renewables. (Photo by David Kelly Crow)

Building Opening Celebration and Symposium

A view inside one of the glass towers at ACEE. (Photo by Denise J. Applewhite)

All are invited to attend ACEE’s Building Opening Celebration and Symposium taking place this year from Wednesday, May 18 to Friday, May 20.
This special three-day event is the official public debut of the new ACEE building, which was designed by New York architects Billie Tsien and Tod Williams, a Princeton alumnus, who received his bachelor’s and master’s degrees in architecture in 1965 and 1967, respectively. The event will also highlight the center’s latest work in innovative, cross-disciplinary research in energy and environmental technologies.
Leaders in energy and environment from academia, government, and industry are on the roster as speakers. ACEE faculty will share their innovations in energy storage, energy-efficient building systems, sustainable building materials, fusion energy, biofuels, solar cells and efficient lighting, and other topics. Students and postdocs will also present their research in a poster session.
A building dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony with Princeton officials will kick off the celebration.
For more information on the event and to register, email

Opportunities for students

Through the ACEE, there are two funding opportunities for undergraduate and graduate students. Deadlines are in March.
Undergraduates are invited to apply for paid summer internships, which are made possible through the Dede T. Bartlett P03 Fund for Energy and the Environment and the Peter B. Lewis Fund for Student Innovation in Energy and the Environment. The internships are for research projects, particularly field work and laboratory research. The projects must be conducted under the auspices of Princeton faculty members doing research in areas related to ACEE’s mission.  
If approved, students will receive a $4,000 stipend for eight weeks of summer research and up to $4,000 for research-related expenses.
The priority deadline for applications is February 19 and the final deadline is March 11.
For more information on this opportunity and how to apply, read more here.
For graduate students, ACEE is soliciting faculty nominations for the Maeder Graduate Fellowship in Energy and the Environment for the academic year 2016-2017. This graduate fellowship is made possible by the Paul A. Maeder ’75 Fund for Innovation in Energy and the Environment. The deadline for nominations is March 31. Notice of the award will be made by April 29.
The recipient will receive a one-year fellowship to cover tuition and stipend for the 2016-17 academic year.
Faculty members are encouraged to nominate students who have passed their general exams and are performing research related to energy and/or the environment as impacted by energy. Nominated students may be enrolled in any Ph.D. program on campus and nominations from departments outside of engineering are encouraged.
Nomination letters should be brief (no more than three pages) and include a description of the graduate student’s research on energy and/or the environment, the student’s accomplishments to date, and his or her potential for success. The student’s curriculum vitae and Princeton transcript should also be attached to the nomination document.
Selection of Maeder Fellows is determined by a competitive process; on rare occasions more than one fellow may be selected. Nominations will be assessed on the basis of their potential impact toward enabling solutions to ensure our sustainable energy and environmental future. The recipient will be required to submit a post-fellowship report of his or her research activities.
For reference, information about the research undertaken by Wenkai Liang, this year’s fellow, is available on the ACEE website
Nomination documents should be sent to Moira J. Selinka, ACEE Education and Outreach Coordinator at

Keeping cool: exhibit and conference explored innovative ways to make buildings comfortable

Left to right: Forrest Meggers, assistant professor at the School of Architecture and the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment; and Dorit Aviv, who earned a master’s degree in 2014 from the architecture school. They pose inside the Cool Oculus, a structure that was on display for the Ultrastructures exhibition and conference, which took place in September at the architecture school. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)

In the fall semester on the Princeton campus, two unique structures were on display featuring innovative, unorthodox solutions for cooling buildings. The Cool Oculus, a high-tech chimney prototype, and the Thermoheliodome, a pavilion made up of Mylar-covered cell structures, were at the center of a September conference and exhibition called Ultrastructures, the aim of which was to explore the complex and intriguing connections between the macro level of buildings and design and the micro level of physical processes such as thermodynamics.
Forrest Meggers, an assistant professor at the School of Architecture and ACEE, hosted and organized the event along with Dorit Aviv, who earned a master’s degree in architecture in 2014; and Axel Kilian, an assistant professor in architecture. The event was supported by ACEE, the Tides Foundation, the architecture school, and the Cooling and Heating for Architecturally Optimized Systems (CHAOS) Lab, the research group headed by Meggers.
The conference featured several Princeton faculty members and guest speakers.
The Cool Oculus, shaped like a blossom and made out of aluminum, uses passive cooling techniques to keep a building comfortable in a desert climate by opening and closing throughout the day and using mist to cool the air. The Thermoheliodome explored how geometry, the use of computation and robotics, and reflective surfaces can generate a cool feeling for people sitting and walking through the pavilion. Cooling temperatures are reflected or radiate from the Mylar-covered cell structures that make up the Thermoheliodome.
For more on the exhibit and conference, read more here.

A view inside the Thermoheliodome, which uses Mylar-covered cell structures to reflect or radiate cooling temperatures. The structure was on display for the Ultrastructures exhibition and conference, which took place in September at the architecture school. (Photo by Forrest Meggers)

Faculty spotlight: Mitchell J. Small

Mitchell J. Small is jointly appointed as the Anderson Family Visiting Professor in Energy and the Environment at ACEE and Visiting Senior Research Scholar in civil and environmental engineering.
Small is visiting from Carnegie Mellon University, where he is the H. John Heinz III Professor of Environmental Engineering. Among his many appointments, he chaired the National Research Council Committee on Risk Management and Governance Issues in Shale Gas Extraction, sat on the EPA Science Advisory Board, was associate editor for “Environmental Science & Technology,” and is currently serving as a fellow for the Society for Risk Analysis.
He conducts research in environmental statistics, mathematical modeling of environmental systems, risk assessment, and decision support tools.
For the fall semester at Princeton, he taught the course CEE 490/ENE 490: Mathematical Modeling of Energy and Environmental Systems.
In this interview, Small talks about his research and work at Princeton. Read more here.
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