From the fight against climate change to develop new ways of administering vaccines, the engineering and environmental studies project proposed by Princeton will enable cutting-edge education and research to serve humanity while enhancing the public experience of the surrounding neighborhood.
The University plans to build a new house for Environmental studies (ES) and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) between Ivy Lane and Prospect Avenue. The four buildings – environmental sciences, bioengineering, chemical and biological engineering and an engineering park – will create a new ES + MER district carefully integrated into the surrounding landscape with strong links to the outdoor spaces.
The buildings will include state-of-the-art teaching, research and collaboration facilities for seven departments, institutes and academic centers.
SEAS Dean Andrea Goldsmith said the new facilities are essential for conducting research that has enormous benefits for human health and society, including work on climate change and carbon sequestration, new products pharmaceuticals and vaccines, better production processes for new materials and greater energy efficiency. . The new buildings will also allow for deeper studies in environmental sciences which are crucial to understanding and mitigating global challenges related to biodiversity, conservation, climate, energy and environmental policy.
“We have come to a point where the current engineering facilities are 60 years old. They are no longer enough to do the groundbreaking research we want to accomplish, ”said Goldsmith, Arthur LeGrand Doty professor of electrical engineering. “The reason Princeton Engineering needs to grow is because engineering has changed. Over the past decades, engineering has become much more interdisciplinary. It solves much more complex problems that require a broader set of expertise, disciplinary and interdisciplinary expertise.
Goldsmith said the district’s central location is essential for bringing together science, humanities and public policy expertise. “All the wealth of ideas we need to solve the problems we face. This project is really about maximizing our impact and upholding Princeton’s motto for the benefit of humanity, through engineering and technology, ”she added.
The project reflects the importance of environmental studies and engineering in a 21st century liberal arts university. The buildings will create a district that will more closely link engineering and environmental studies with the rest of the University’s campus, including the new headquarters of the Department of Computer Science.
“The location of the building, really, is at the intersection of science, engineering, public policy and the humanities,” said Lars Hedin, George M. Moffett professor of biology. “It is designed to be a magnet to bring these groups together. And it will kind of be the cauldron for forging new areas, new ideas and new interactions. Hedin is chairman of the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and a professor at the High Meadows Environmental Institute.
The proximity of key collaborators in different departments also amplifies the links between the growing fields of bioengineering, data science and environmental research and creates a center of gravity to bring together diverse experts and innovators across and across the country. beyond the University to meet critical societal needs.
“It’s really designed around connectivity,” University architect Ronald McCoy said. The new buildings, all connected underground in a continuous sequence, will retain distinct identities for the disciplines while allowing strong links between them.
“When we spoke to the teachers, they were very clear, ‘We need better space and we need more. “These are state-of-the-art, flexible and highly functional teaching and research spaces,” said McCoy.
Athanassios (Thanos) Panagiotopoulos, chairman of the Department of Chemical and Biological Engineering, said the new spaces for teaching, research, laboratory and collaboration are “absolutely essential to the University’s mission of serving society by responding urgent needs “.
“Our department’s job is to mitigate climate change, create new chemical processes that will allow us to replace fossil fuels with renewable energies, and give us the tools to fight public health and well-being.” said Panagiotopoulos, chemistry and biology professor Susan Dod Brown. Engineering. “The technologies that allow Covid vaccines to quickly, widely, and safely become available – the ability to protect these tiny packets of mRNA – use technology that chemical engineers have developed. “
Princeton Bioengineering Initiative director Cliff Brangwynne said the ES + SEAS project will help support cutting-edge research for the future.
“If you ask people ‘what are the important areas for the 21st century? it is clearly computer work, computer science and bioengineering. These are the things that will transform society, ”said Brangwynne, who is also June K. Wu ’92 professor of engineering and professor of chemical and biological engineering. “Right now, we are in the midst of a pandemic. This is the kind of challenge facing society that requires cutting edge research at the interface of biology and engineering. [such as the COVID-19 vaccine technology]. And, to achieve our goals on this front, we must recruit top researchers. This is going to be impossible without the infrastructure to attract these researchers. “
The ES + SEAS project is also a model of the ethics of sustainability of the University. The resort meets or exceeds Princeton sustainability standards and will seek LEED certification. It will feature geo-exchange heating and cooling, a green roof, high-performance exteriors, rainwater harvesting and sustainable materials.
The design also reflects the University’s strong commitment to being a steward of buildings and landscapes while seeking critical opportunities for innovation, creativity and benefit to society.
The buildings will be terraced on the hillside between Prospect Avenue and Ivy Lane, currently occupied by accommodation for teachers and staff and parking lots behind the buildings of the catering clubs. As part of the project’s careful and thoughtful planning and design process, the University plans to move the Dean of Research’s office building to 91 Prospect Avenue across the street, allowing it to continue to be part of a vibrant Prospect Avenue.
The neighborhood will include sunken courtyards, extensive walking paths, and outdoor spaces for the public and the community. The complex also includes public exhibition spaces for interaction with school groups and the community, as well as conference rooms for public awareness and engagement.