The University appointed Emily Carter, a mechanical and aerospace engineering professor, as the first-ever director of the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment.

Carter began serving in the position Sept. 1. The center, which was established in 2008 through a $100 million donation from Gerhard Andlinger ’52, promotes research and education concerning the environment, sustainability and energy. It will move to a new 127,000-square-foot space in the E-Quad in the next decade.

In its new location, the center will be a home for various environmental projects, including “capturing and finding productive uses for carbon dioxide, efficient use of energy in buildings, transportation, ... industry [and] converting waste heat to electricity,” Carter said in an e-mail.

She added that the Andlinger Center would also partner with industry and provide policy and technical advice to governments.

Pablo Debenedetti, vice dean of the Engineering School, said that the center will conduct teaching and research in three areas: energy efficiency, sustainable energy production and tracking the impact of human action on the environment in order to prevent future problems.

“Each area has a science dimension, a policy dimension and a technology dimension,” he said.

An eight-member committee, which originally included Carter, conducted an international search for the center’s inaugural director. They posted advertisements in major magazines, such as Science, Nature and The Economist, before ultimately choosing Carter. When her colleagues asked her if she was interested in the position, Carter stepped down from the committee, Debenedetti said.

Carter is “just the right leader” for the center, President Shirley Tilghman said in a University statement earlier this week. “She is a highly accomplished scientist who cares passionately about not only addressing the interlocking energy and environmental challenges that face us, but also training and inspiring the next generation of leaders in this field.”

Carter explained that her interests in the areas of environment, sustainability and energy accelerated after the 2007 report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change showed that the carbon dioxide emissions are causing climate disruptions.

“At that moment, I decided to make a conscious effort to move my entire research program over to solving problems related to energy,” she said.

Manhattan architect Tod Williams ’65 designed the new Andlinger Center, and the plans call for the controversial demolition of 86 Olden St., the former location of the Fields Center. The building was built in 1892 and was also once the Osborn Clubhouse, which served as the headquarters of the University’s football team. Despite objections from prominent alumni, the University Board of Trustees voted in March to tear down the building.

The new center will feature specialized labs, office space and a lecture hall. Garden areas will be located on all three levels of each building, with green roofs on each structure.

Debenedetti called the Andlinger Center’s design “spectacular.” He added that he thinks people will be attracted by the site’s beauty in addition to the intellectually stimulating academic work that will be conducted there.

The center “will strive to create a beautiful and useful cluster of buildings that are a living embodiment of a carbon-neutral world (or as close as we can get to it in the second decade of the 21st century),” Carter said.

Comments powered by Disqus