Chemical and biological engineering addresses a range of problems in human health, energy, 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 engineering research at Princeton 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 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 conversion and storage; materials science; satellite technology and propulsion; stability and control of vehicles; aircraft performance; and instrumentation.
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, optimize performance of complex systems, and manage resources efficiently. Expertise include “big data” analysis and financial technology (FinTech).
The Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment supports a vibrant and expanding program of research and teaching in the areas of sustainable energy development, energy efficiency, and environmental protection and remediation. The center takes a highly interdisciplinary approach toward translating fundamental knowledge into practical solutions that will enable sustainable energy production and the protection of the environment and global climate from anthropogenic change.
The Center for Information Technology Policy uses Princeton’s unique strengths to promote an informed public discussion of digital technologies. Combining faculty expertise in technology and engineering, public policy, and the social sciences with a strong University tradition of service, the Center’s research, teaching, and public programs address digital technologies as they interact with policy, markets, and society. The center is a joint initiative of the School of Engineering and Applied Science and the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs.
The Keller Center seeks to prepare all students – both engineers and non-engineers – to be leaders in an increasingly complex, technology-driven society. The center is creating new courses and strengthening existing ones that go beyond purely technical subjects to provide students a broader understanding of the global economic, environmental and cultural forces that shape and are shaped by technology. At the same time, the center is improving students' technical education by exposing them to real engineering projects throughout their four years, through internships, entrepreneurial opportunities, and multidisciplinary courses.
The Princeton Institute for the Science and Technology of Materials (PRISM) is a multidisciplinary research center driving advances in materials science and photonics. A particular strength is research that combines expertise in "hard" materials such as conventional semiconductors and ceramics with knowledge of "soft" materials such as plastics, biological molecules, and fluids. Integrating these conventionally distinct areas yields breakthroughs in fields from telecommunications to energy to biotechnology. The institute brings together physicists, chemists, biologists, and engineers, as well as industry partners, to bring fundamental advances to market.