Research Vision:

Our research group, the Water and Energy Efficiency for the Environment (WE3) lab, works on the grand challenge of meeting water demand in a carbon-constrained world. Many conventional water treatment technologies are approaching their thermodynamic limit; to realize further energy savings requires a series of paradigm shifts in technology deployment, process integration, and materials design. We apply our backgrounds in environmental engineering and technology policy to holistically evaluate the policies, processes, and materials that promote energy efficient water treatment.

Venn Diagram

Our research probes opportunities for energy savings by 1) optimizing policies and networks to efficiently deploy water treatment capacity, 2) evaluating thermodynamic efficiency and technical feasibility of emerging water desalination technologies with alternative energy or water quality inputs, and 3) developing and modeling membrane materials that maximize performance in emerging separations processes. These interconnected research topics are pursued by a diverse and collaborative team of Engineering & Public Policy, Environmental Engineering, Chemical Engineering, and Materials Science & Engineering students, positioning the WE3 lab to evaluate and design energy efficient water systems using interdisciplinary engineering principles.

Department and Center Affiliations of the WE3 Lab:

Environmental Engineering

Engineering & Public Policy

Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation

Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research

Center for Climate and Energy Decision Making