The use of robots is moving rapidly beyond controlled environments such as factories to complex environments in the midst of human activity, demanding a nimble cross-disciplinary approach. Princeton engineers are advancing the productive, safe, and ethical use of robotics in society by building and connecting expertise in sensing, artificial intelligence, neuroscience, public policy, and other fields.
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 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.