Nearly 30 years after receiving their Ph.D.s from Princeton, Leah Jamieson, Vince Poor and Dave Munson, have risen to the top of their profession. Last summer, each became dean of a leading engineering school: Jamieson at Purdue University; Munson at the University of Michigan; and Poor at Princeton.
Burning oil and coal, which are rich in carbon, releases the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide. Until alternative fuels become mainstream, one viable option to cut carbon emissions is to capture the gas and inject it into sediments deep underground, according to Princeton's Michael Celia *79, chair of civil and environmental engineering.
Practically every activity of every human being every day contributes to perhaps the most dramatic experiment ever conducted -- what happens to life on Earth if the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide gas triples?
Fuel cell batteries might power clean cars of the future, but for now they are found in niche applications such as spacecraft, where cost is no object. "We are trying to figure out how you could build fuel cells that operate more simply and are cheaper to produce so that they would be acceptable in a consumer market," said Princeton professor of chemical engineering Jay Benziger.
Nuclear fusion promises clean, unlimited energy, of the sort created by the sun. But making a practical reactor is difficult and expensive. In one approach, called inertial fusion, scientists bombard a tiny pellet of deuterium-tritium fuel with intense laser pulses to kick off the fusion reaction.
Eighty five percent of the world's energy supply comes from burning fossil fuels, and this will most likely be the case for a few decades, according to assistant professor Yiguang Ju. In Princeton's mechanical and aerospace engineering department, Ju and Professors Frederick Dryer and Chung K. Law are making the best of that reality by studying the combustion of conventional and alternative fuels to harness their energy with maximum efficiency.