Centers & Institutes

Climate Extremes & Water

Climate variability and change can cause or exacerbate weather and hydrological extremes besides leading to large shifts in regional weather patterns. The consequences can be severe for human lives, as well as for critical infrastructures and key resources, ranging from food security to water resources. A comprehensive assessment for climate extremes and water needs to consider multiple inter-related factors, from human population change and socioeconomic resilience to urbanization, coastal infrastructures, environmental processes, and the energy-water nexus. Advances in scientific understanding and credible predictive insights for informing adaptation decisions or mitigation policy require sophisticated computational models and data-intensive methods.

Faculty

Akram Alshawabkeh, College of Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Jennifer Cole, College of Science, Earth and Environmental Sciences
Bill Detrich, College of Science, Marine and Environmental Sciences
Matthew Eckelman, College of Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Slava Epstein, College of Science, Biology
Auroop Ganguly, College of Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Tarik Gouhier, College of Science, Marine and Environmental Sciences
April Gu, College of Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Ferdi Hellweger, College of Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Phil Larese-Casanova, College of Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Annalisa Onnis-Hayden, College of Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Carolyn W.T. Lee-Parsons, College of Engineering
Tom Sheehan

Urban Coastal Sustainability Initiative

Coastal cities contribute half of global GDP, and more than two-thirds of the world’s megacities are located on the coast causing widespread contamination and deterioration of vital urban ecosystems.  Urban coastal sustainability requires combining the expertise in ocean and marine science and engineering, paired with a deep understanding and modeling of climate, urban infrastructure, and of regional and regulatory contributions.   This initiative centered at Northeastern’s unique Marine Science Center is creating an interdisciplinary hub of innovative basic and translational research by maintaining and creating global collaborations that attract the best talent and solutions to the Boston area.

Faculty

Dan Adams, College of Arts, Media and Design, Architecture
Jane Amidon, College of Arts, Media and Design, Architecture
Matthew Bracken, College of Science, Biology
Jon Grabowski, College of Science, Biology
Randall Hughes, College of Science, Marine and Environmental Sciences
Yiannis Levendis, College of Engineering, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Geoffrey Trussell, College of Science, Biology
Steve Vollmer, College of Science, Biology
Carolyn W.T. Lee-Parsons, College of Engineering

Sustainabile Energy

Energy, the critical resource lifeline of current and future civilizations, depends on three distinct technologies: generation, transmission and end use   Northeastern performs research contributing to all three technologies, for which not only long range sustainability is essential, but also resiliency to assure continued availability despite events of catastrophic  impact. Currently the main emphasis at Northeastern is on monitoring, optimization and control of power system operation in order to maximize resiliency against disturbances and maintain high efficiency..

Faculty

Ali Abur, College of Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Ahmed Busnaina, College of Engineering, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
John Cipolla, College of Engineering, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Ahmet Coskun, College of Engineering, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Yung Joon Jung, College of Engineering, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Gregory Kowalski, College of Engineering, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Yiannis Levendis, College of Engineering, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Brad Lehman, College of Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Yongmin Liu, College of Engineering, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Carol Livermore, College of Engineering, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Hameed Metghalchi, College of Engineering, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Sanjeev Mukerjee, College of Engineering, Electrical and Computer Engineering
Uichiro Narusawa, College of Engineering, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Reza Sheikhi, College of Engineering, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Eugene Smotkin, College of Science, Chemistry
Alex Stankovitch
Mohammad Taslim, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Richard Whalen, College of Engineering
Yaman Yener, College of Engineering

Building and Civil Infrastructure

Construction and maintenance of buildings, roads and bridges consume a large proportion of the world’s material, economic and energy resources. This demand requires energy efficient new construction and life cycle performance assessment that responds to site and climatic contexts, that is durable, adaptable, affordable, and that integrates strategies for continuing, cost effective maintenance. Northeastern aims to become a leader in combining the expertise in architectural and engineering design, systems and technology to produce sustainable solutions for the built environment.

Faculty

Dan Adams, College of Arts, Media and Design, Architecture
Jane Amidon, College of Arts, Media and Design, Architecture
David Brady, College of Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Peter Furth, College of Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Jerry Hajjar, College of Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Ivan Rupnik, College of Arts, Media and Design, Architecture
Mehrdad Sasani, College of Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Gavin Shatkin, School for Public Policy/Urban Aff
Ali Touran, College of Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Sara Wadia Fascetti, College of Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Peter Wiederspahn, College of Arts, Media and Design, Architecture

Urban Sustainability & Economic Development

Joan Fitzgerald, Law and Public Policy
Gavin Shatkin, School for Public Policy/Urban Aff.
Liza Weinstein

Industrial Sustainability

Manufacturing is at the heart of any sustainability strategy, as it is the means by which innovations and critical tools are mass-produced for effective distribution.   Accordingly, Northeastern researchers are driving efforts on both of the following fronts: (1) interdisciplinary, scientific improvements to existing manufacturing processes, with the goal of next-generation environmental and economic efficiency; and (2) adoption of such improvements, along with green engineering principles and life cycle analysis feeding directly into the fundamental pipeline of new technological discoveries, including nano-technology.  The end result is the development of sustainable manufacturing expertise and experience that can be applied to a wide range of industries, at virtually any point in its maturation. .

Faculty

Matthew Eckelman, College of Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Andrew Gouldstone, College of Engineering, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Hamid Nayeb Hashemi, College of Engineering, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Jackie Isaacs, College of Engineering, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Nader Jalili, College of Engineering, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Greg Kowalski, College of Engineering, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Pam Mabrouk, College of Science, Chemistry and Chemical Biology
Hameed Metghalchi, College of Engineering, Mechanical and Industrial Engineering
Matthias Ruth, School for Public Policy/Urban Aff.

Environmental Ethics

Ronald Sandler, College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Philosophy and Religion
Daniel Faber, College of Social Sciences and Humanities, Sociology and Anthropology
Stephanie Pollack, School for Public Policy/Urban Aff.

Business Sustainability Institute

Sustainable enterprises adopt strategies that maximize profits while minimizing negative impact on environment and society.  They measure their success in terms of the “triple-bottom line” – environmentally responsible (planet), socially responsible (people), and financially profitable (profits).  The College of Business Administration recognizes the growing importance of and need to train business leaders who are sustainability-savvy: leaders who understand the dynamic interplay between business, environment, and society.  The Business Sustainability Initiative encourages and supports programs that promote sustainability in research, teaching, and service as well as in collaborations with industry and other colleges in the university.

Faculty

Rae Andre, D’Amore-McKim School of Business
Alvaro Cuervo-Cazzura, D’Amore-McKim School of Business
Rosanna Garcia, D’Amore-McKim School of Business
Marius Salomon, D’Amore-McKim School of Business
Ron Whitfield, D’Amore-McKim School of Business
Rae André, D’Amore-McKim School of Business

Law and Policy Aspects

Civilizations depend on many interrelated forms of organization – governments, administrative agencies, corporations, and nongovernmental entities — to coordinate resource uses, understand and measure environmental impacts, respond adaptively to ecological dynamics, encourage technological innovation, and distribute resources equitably.  The laws and policies that define property rights and access to resources, implement regulatory frameworks, and provide economic incentives are critical factors in ensuring that city populations can flourish.  Energy management regimes, water and wastewater systems, land use regulations, infrastructure design criteria, and trade controls are important examples of legal and policy arrangements that shape sustainability. . (click to find subject leaders and their expertise)

Faculty

Lee Breckenridge, School of Law
Dan Danielsen, School of Law
Rashmi Dyah-Chand, School of Law
Peter Enrich, School of Law
Sonia Rolland, School of Law