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Innovating for Energy, Environment and Sustainability

Major societal realities impacting our future include an increased global demand for energy and resources, the mergence of megacities, an aging and deteriorating built infrastructure and insufficient access to water. These challenges will require new oil and gas exploration and production technologies; new energy generation, storage, distribution and conservation technologies that both maintain our economic competitiveness and protect the environment; better approaches for water reuse and development of new water sources; safe, efficient, reliable and resilient built environments; and responsible, effective responses to climate change that promote sustainability and help preserve our environment.

Research Focus Areas

  • New technologies to support sustainable growth of cities
  • Innovation in water, transportation, energy and environment
  • Novel approaches for evaluating and extending the service life of infrastructure systems
  • New technologies to expand and enhance the extraction of hydrocarbons

Research Breakthroughs in this Area

An innovative new downhole tool, developed for use in fracture diagnostics to improve oil and gas recovery, could significantly reduce costs and minimize the environmental footprint of hydraulic fracturing.

A new mutant yeast strain, developed by combining metabolic engineering with directed evolution to significantly enhance lipid production, has uncovered a future source of biofuel production.

A technology that reduces heat from ultrahot surfaces while consuming low levels of power is poised to bring about safety and cost-saving benefits for steam-generating power plants around the world.