Columbia Engineering Archives - State of the Planet

upmanu lall headshot

Exploring Actionable Solutions for Water Security

America’s water systems face many challenges, including climate change and aging infrastructure. An upcoming event will focus on ways to solve multiple problems at the same time, with the same funding.

by Emily Halnon |September 7, 2022
A smoggy sunset in Delhi, India.

Unraveling the Interconnections Between Air Pollutants and Climate Change

Getting rid of some air pollutants might aggravate global warming. Here’s how.

by |July 22, 2022
nissan leaf charging in a snowy parking lot

How Electric Vehicles Could Fix the Grid

Local governments and policymakers are anxious about the U.S. grid’s ability to withstand ever-increasing demand. Consumers could hold the key to an untapped resource.

by |May 11, 2022

What Is Decarbonization, and How Do We Make It Happen?

To keep the planet from warming more than 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, economies must rapidly decarbonize. What will this involve?

by |April 22, 2022

You’ve Heard of Water Droughts. Could Energy Droughts Be Next?

In a new study, researchers show how widely wind and solar potential vary by season and year, suggesting that backup energy sources may be needed as the world shifts to renewables to bring carbon emissions to zero.

by |April 12, 2022
Vasilis Fthenakis headshot

Vasilis Fthenakis Wins the 2022 Böer Solar Energy Medal of Merit

Fthenakis’ pioneering work in solar energy has been recognized with one of the most prestigious awards in renewable energy.

by Allison Chen |April 8, 2022
faye mcneill headshot

Faye McNeill Combats Air Pollution, From the Molecular to the Global Scale

The first woman to earn tenure in Columbia’s chemical engineering department, McNeill is working for cleaner air in developing countries.

by |March 8, 2022
flooding in highway

Penny Wise and Pound Foolish? NYC Budget Cuts Aggravated Flooding and Deaths

When drainage infrastructure isn’t maintained, even modest rainfall events can cause dangerous flooding.

by Yunus Kovankaya, Sara Schwetschenau, and Upmanu Lall |January 6, 2022
A waste-to-energy power plant in Ningbo, China

The U.S. Should Phase Out Landfilling, as China and the E.U. Are Doing

Compared to landfilling, waste-to-energy plants reduce carbon emissions and conserve land. China provides a good example of how waste-to-energy can be expanded.

by Nickolas J. Themelis |May 5, 2021
headshots of 12 students

Meet 12 Columbia Graduates Taking on the Climate Crisis

These students are serious about Earth Day, and doing their part to protect the environment. They are committed to thinking and acting more sustainably.

by |April 16, 2021