Energy/Environment/Systems research area addresses some of the most pressing challenges of our time: securing a stable base for the energy supply and halting the global warming trend. These challenges can be met by developing renewable energy sources and reducing carbon dioxide emission. No single approach will suffice, while an effective solution will require creative integration of several approaches including biofuel, photovoltaics, wind energy, hydrogen, and improved use of traditional fossil fuel sources (e.g., coal gasification).
This field of study spans a broad range of length and time scales from atomic level molecules to process level factories. Research efforts in this area are both active and diverse, including the development of nanomaterials for energy storage, carbon capture and utilization, and smart plant design, optimization, and control.