From the Dean

Fall 2023 Inventing tomorrow

A hallmark of our community lies in our relentless pursuit of game-changing research. Our faculty, students, and alumni are key players in important areas that affect people, our planet, and the economy.

This edition of Inventing Tomorrow is dedicated to sustainability, specifically as it pertains to water, materials, transportation, and energy. As custodians of the future, we recognize the profound impact of our actions on the environment, and we are committed to
finding responsible solutions.

I call our approach “smart sustainability.” We harness the power of artificial intelligence (AI) and data modeling to propel work forward—plus we tackle problems with circularity, or full life cycle, in mind.

For example, in the AI-CLIMATE Institute, CSE researchers are leveraging AI for climate-smart practices in agriculture and forestry industries. In the NSF Center for Sustainable Polymers (CSP), experts are transforming how plastics are made, unmade and remade—with the idea of closing the loop with biodegradable plastics.

Circularity in sustainability isn’t just a concept for us. It’s a practice. We do our best to think about what happens after we innovate, build, shape, solve.

In fact, we are growing a community of leaders with resource conservation and upcycling skills. This fall, as part of a $3 million National Science Foundation grant, we’re offering students a course on this topic, “A Circularity Revolution: Working to Close the Loop on Global Issues.”

By integrating innovation with responsibility, we can make sustainability not just an aspiration but a way of life.

Dean Andrew Alleyne
Photo by Rebecca Slater