Research at EEE lies at the intersection of scientific advancement, technological innovation, and environmental problem solving. A sampling of current research projects is provided here, grouped according to our three thematic concentration areas:
Environmental Health Engineering
Environmental Health Engineering focuses on identifying, evaluating, and rectifying environmental problems that have a discernable impact on public health. The central idea is that many threats to human health are related to the environment, and the most effective way to alleviate the threat is to prevent or remediate the underlying environmental problem. Projects following this theme strive to pinpoint the environmental causes of disease occurence, and develop engineering solutions to these causal factors.
Sustainable Energy and Materials
Sustainable Energy and Materials focuses on innovative ways to provide energy and material resources to society, in a sustainable and environmentally responsible manner. The central task is to build and shape the energy and industrial infrastructure of the 21st century. Many projects focus on treating the inefficiencies and by-products of traditional production in novel ways, such as carbon sequestration, zero-emission coal, catalysis, and recycling technologies. Other projects focus on developing viable alternative energy sources, such as waste-to-energy.
Sustainable Waste Management
Population growth and economic development have resulted in the generation of billions of tons of urban solid wastes. Sustainable waste management examines how to recover materials and energy from "wastes", instead of landfilling them, which entails a loss of non-renewable resources as well as serious land, water, and air quality impacts. Columbia University has concentrated on this subject since 1995 and by now is one of world's foremost academic research centers on sustainable waste managemen. Our published theses are indicative of the broad scope of EEE research, enhance the CV of our alumni and advance their careers.
Water Resources and Climate Risks
Water Resources and Climate Risks focuses on the movement, availability, and quality of water throughout the Earth, on scales ranging from individual rivers and watersheds to the entire globe. Providing this valuable resource for society is the overarching goal, and the risks posed by climate variability, extremes, and change is an important and inherent part of all research projects. Specific projects range from the management of available supplies to forecasting future availability to underlying scientific mechanisms, and span a number of disciplines such as hydrology, hydroclimatology, water resources engineering, atmospheric dynamics, and land-atmosphere interaction.