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Grand Challenge

Energy and the Environment

The unprecedented surge in global energy consumption and increased awareness of climate change have pushed energy and the environment to the forefront of public debate. Over the next quarter century, it is estimated that some $20 trillion in capital investment will be required to meet worldwide energy demand. For engineers, satisfying that demand while protecting the environment is a grand challenge that will shape research and educational priorities for decades to come.

Lehigh's research agenda in this area includes the development of efficient, clean, and sustainable energy sources that support global economic development. It also addresses issues related to energy supply, delivery, consumption, and environmental impact, as well as social, political and economic ramifications.

Our researchers seek to develop better ways of generating and distributing energy, to improve the efficiency of systems that consume energy, and to mitigate the environmental impact of energy generation and energy use.

Lehigh's research strength in energy generation is renowned. It includes a wide variety of activities ranging from fusion modeling and simulation to clean coal technology, carbon capture and sequestration, to efficiency improvements and pollution reduction technologies. These are complemented by equally active researc in alternative energy sources, with major projects in hydrogen, photovoltaics, and fuel cell and storage technologies.