Our Six Departments
Chemical and Biological
Chemical and biological engineering addresses a range of problems in human health, energy production, materials science and industrial processes. Areas of excellence at Princeton include: applied and computational mathematics, bioengineering, environmental and energy science and technology, materials synthesis and processing, process engineering and science, thermodynamics and statistical mechanics, and transport phenomena.
Civil and Environmental
Civil and environmental engineering research addresses fundamental questions associated with the built environment, the natural environment, and interactions between the two. Focus areas include design of civil engineering systems; water resources and the hydrologic cycle, civil engineering materials, environmental and structural monitoring; air quality and water quality; urban environments, including smart cities; the impacts of climate change on water resources and natural hazards; impacts of energy technology on the environment and structural art and design.
Princeton has been at the forefront of computing since Alan Turing, Alonzo Church and John von Neumann were among its residents. The department, now in a period of major growth, has strong groups in artificial intelligence and machine learning, theory, programming languages, graphics and vision, systems and networking, computer architecture, computational biology and neuroscience, security, privacy, and information technology policy.
Princeton's electrical engineering program, started in 1889 as one of the first in the United States, remains at the forefront of the field, with research aimed at improving human health, energy and environmental systems, computing and communications, and security. Specific areas of research include the physics of semiconductors; electronic and optical devices; the design of computers and networks; materials science and nanotechnologies; algorithms and structures for information; and biological technologies.
Mechanical and Aerospace
Mechanical and aerospace engineers at Princeton have played leading roles in propulsion, combustion, fluid modeling and measurement, laser technology and materials, environmental science, and aerospace dynamics over the past half century. With ties to many other areas of science and engineering, MAE faculty also have a major impact in pollution and alternative fuels; energy use and storage; materials science; satellite technology and propulsion; stability and control of vehicles; aircraft performance; and instrumentation.
Operations Research and Financial Engineering
The Department of Operations Research and Financial Engineering is unique in the United States, combining deep roots in mathematics with engineering, business and finance. Much of the research in the department focuses on developing mathematical and computational tools for making decisions under uncertainty. Work by faculty and students helps manage risk and, optimize performance of complex systems and manage resources efficiently. Expertise include "big data" analysis and financial technology (FinTech).
Interdisciplinary Research Centers
Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment
The Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment supports a vibrant and expanding program of research and teaching in the areas of sustainable energy-technology development, energy efficiency, and environmental protection and remediation. A chief goal of the center is to translate fundamental knowledge into practical solutions that enable sustainable energy production and the protection of the environment and global climate from energy-related anthropogenic change.
Center for Information Technology Policy
The Center for Information Technology Policy is a nexus of expertise in technology, engineering, public policy and the social sciences. In keeping with the University tradition of service, the center's research, teaching and events address digital technologies as they interact with society. It produces leading research as well as practical demonstrations of issues at the crossroads of technology and policy. CITP integrates graduate and undergraduate students at all levels of its work, including an undergraduate certificate offered in cooperation with the Keller Center.
The Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM) integrates fundamental theory and applied research in investigating and inventing materials of broad importance in energy, medicine, electronics, information technology and many other fields. PRISM offers an undergraduate program leading to a Certificate in Materials, which includes core courses within PRISM, electives offered by departments and extensive faculty interaction and research opportunities. At the graduate level PRISM offers a multidisciplinary program in cooperation with academic departments. PRISM also conducts extensive educational outreach programs.
Engineering Research Highlights
How Everyday Things Inspire Breakthroughs in Fluid Dynamics
In Howard Stone's lab, a cup of coffee, gelatin and ice act as model systems to study pattern formation in liquids.