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Sustainable Energy Systems

Growth in world population and continual improvements in living standards in developing countries will increase demands for energy in the next 40 years, posing tremendous challenges for providing affordable energy.

Cornell University is committed to being a leader in the field of sustainable development. In addition to the Cornell Energy Systems Institute (CSEI), several Cornell Centers coordinate efforts in related research and education including the Cornell Center for a Sustainable Future and the Cornell Fuel Cell Institute. The Robert Frederick Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering is a key part of those efforts. With a framework that includes physical, chemical, and biological energy transformations, transport of heat and mass in fluids and solids, materials for energy capture and storage, process analysis, design, and simulation, and full life cycle analysis of energy and mass flows, a chemical engineering education provides the ideal skill set for tackling a wide range of energy problems. Energy-related research conducted in CBE has direct applications in:

  • Chemical engineering processing for renewable and cleaner conventional energy extraction, upgrading, and conversion.
  • Fabrication of next-generation solar cells and photochemical converters and batteries and other storage devices from nanoscale building blocks.
  • Production of energetic materials, fuels, and bioproducts from a wide range of biomass feedstocks ranging from energy crops and algae to agricultural and food wastes, as well as energy production from Earth energy systems including engineered geothermal systems.



Research Area Faculty

The faculty researchers in this area exemplify the collaborative nature of the work done at Cornell Engineering.

Lynden Archer

Lynden A. Archer

James A. Friend Family Distinguished Professor in Engineering
Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Olin Hall, Room 348
David Croll Director of the Energy Systems Institute
Kimball Hall, Room 174
Elizabeth M. Fisher

Elizabeth M. Fisher

Associate Professor
Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
Upson Hall, Room 315
Associate Director of Undergraduate Programs
Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering
photo of Yong L. Joo

Yong L. Joo

BP Amoco/H. Laurance Fuller Professor
Smith School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Olin Hall, Room 340
Associate Dean of Masters of Engineering Programs
College of Engineering
Carpenter Hall, Room 222

Research Area Field Faculty

Faculty researchers from Cornell's several campuses contribute to this research area.

Research Groups

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