Since the early 20th century, Princeton has been a world leader in mathematics and physics, a preeminence that continues to provide a foundation for far-reaching impacts in many fields. In the areas of energy and the environment, Princeton’s groundbreaking contributions derive from deep strengths in the following enabling fundamental disciplines:

Computational Science, Engineering, and Modeling. Since the days when Alan Turing, one of the fathers of computer science, was at the University, Princeton has been a central player in harnessing the power of computation to solve problems. The fields of energy and climate modeling are among many that benefit from this expertise.

Materials Synthesis, Characterization, and Processing. Transformational advances throughout history – from ships to spaceships,  printing to the Internet – have arisen from breakthroughs in materials science and engineering. Princeton researchers are leaders, in particular, in the synthesis, characterization, and processing of nanomaterials, polymers, and other soft materials, superconductors, and compound semiconductors.

Public Policy. The Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs at Princeton has long been one of the world’s leading voices in public policy, with strong ties to economics, politics, and psychology. The Woodrow Wilson School’s Program in Science, Technology and Environmental Policy (STEP) brings together leading faculty and offers students a unique opportunity to translate technical expertise into sound policy.

Areas of Excellence

Dramatic advances often arise at the intersection of our areas of excellence. The following areas of practical impact each represent world-leading research groups that draw on Princeton’s core strengths and epitomize its cross-disciplinary approach:

Carbon Capture and Storage

Climate Modeling

Energy Storage

Energy Systems Analysis

Nuclear Energy

(including magnetic-confinement fusion; small-scale fission; and international policy)

Solar Energy

(including photovoltaics and solar fuels)

Water Resources