Columbia University and Major Engineering Societies Announce New National Science Foundation Research Coordination Network on Carbon Management

Project will focus on multidisciplinary approaches to carbon capture, utilization, and storage.
December 13, 2012
Contact: Danielle Gross
Phone: (717) 214-2200


Columbia University and the Technologies for Carbon Management Project organized by a group of leading engineering societies have been awarded a grant from the National Science Foundation (NSF) to form a Research Coordination Network to tackle greenhouse gas emissions. The grant comes from NSF’s Science, Engineering, and Education for Sustainability track for carbon capture, utilization, and storage (CCUS). 
Ah-Hyung (Alissa) Park, Lenfest Junior Professor in Applied Climate Science of Earth and Environmental Engineering and Associate Director of the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy at the Earth Institute, Columbia University, is the principal investigator. The project will include research, education and outreach efforts to promote multidisciplinary collaborations to address carbon management issues. Park explains “this RCN is designed to seed transformative research collaborations in CCUS that cross the boundaries of the natural sciences, engineering, and the social and economic sciences.”
A steering committee of faculty with diverse expertise at Columbia, Princeton, UC Berkeley, Stanford, Georgia Institute of Technology, and the Ohio State University is partnering with engineers from the carbon management consortium to host CCUS activities and researchers in other US universities, national labs and industrial labs as well as foreign participants. They’re planning annual symposia, bi-annual workshops, bi-monthly web-based seminars, and webinars that will encourage collaboration among K-12 teachers, young professionals, academic researchers, industrial practitioners, and international partners. Additionally, Columbia is developing a new masters’ degree program focused on Carbon Management, which will tie into the Research Coordination Network’s activities. 
This new initiative will be supported by the Technologies for Carbon Management Project’s initiative on the “Climate Change Grand Challenge,” which was launched in 2008. Darlene Schuster, executive director of the American Institute of Chemical Engineers’ Center for Energy Initiatives, which manages the consortium, expressed excitement about the opportunity to partner with Columbia. “This new Research Coordination Network will let us leverage the expertise of leaders from different disciplines and different countries,” Schuster said. “In fact,” she added, “it will be an important and novel—perhaps a transformative--addition to existing research and work underway in carbon management.”

For more information vist the CCUS-network site.

About the Founder Societies’ Technologies for Carbon Management Project

With the belief that engineering professionals have a responsibility to respond to the global challenge of worldwide greenhouse gas emissions, five major engineering societies, AIChE (the American Institute of Chemical Engineers), ASME (the American Society of Mechanical Engineers), AIME (made up of the Association for Iron and Steel Technology;, Society of Petroleum Engineer;, The Minerals, Metals and Materials Society; and the Society for Mining, Metallurgy and Exploration), IEEE (the Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineers), and ASCE (and the American Society for Civil Engineers), have joined forces, under the auspices of the United Engineering Foundation, to organize an initiative to address the challenges of developing and implementing technologies for carbon management. To learn more, visit

Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy

The mission of the Lenfest Center for Sustainable Energy (LCSE) is to develop innovative technologies to ensure a sufficient supply of environmentally sustainable energy for all humanity. LCSE searches for sustainable energy solutions to satisfy the world’s future energy needs without threatening to destabilize the Earth's natural systems. Our interdisciplinary systems approach blends research in technology, policy, environment, and economics with education and public outreach and allows us to put our detail-oriented work into a larger picture. For more information on our research projects and initiatives, visit

About AIChE: AIChE is a professional society of more than 40,000 chemical engineers in 92 countries. Its members work in corporations, universities and government using their knowledge of chemical processes to develop safe and useful products for the benefit of society. Through its varied programs, AIChE continues to be a focal point for information exchange on the frontier of chemical engineering research in such areas as nanotechnology, sustainability, hydrogen fuels, biological and environmental engineering, and chemical plant safety and security. More information about AIChE is available at