The Mission


The Institutes of Energy and the Environment (IEE) works to build teams of researchers from different disciplines to see how new partnerships and new ways of thinking can solve some of the world’s most difficult energy and environmental challenges. We foster and facilitate interdisciplinary scholarship in collaboration with more than 500 extraordinary faculty, staff, and students as we advance the energy and environmental research missions of the University.

Penn State is a global research leader in many areas of profound importance to society. Our goal is to make real-world impacts and help translate data into knowledge and technical innovations. We believe that Penn State is uniquely equipped to address five major research themes, all requiring interdisciplinary problem solving and solution innovation.


As the climate changes so does the ecosystem. In order to manage the risks of anthropogenic, or human-driven, climate change poses, Penn State researchers are confronting the challenges at the nexus of natural and social sciences, ethics, engineering, and mathematics.
Just as humans affect the environment, the environment affects humans. Penn State researchers are collaborating on ways that human health is being impacted, from pollution and toxins to infectious disease and climate change.
New sources of power generation are needed to meet skyrocketing world energy demand. Penn State researchers innovate solutions and lead efforts that support a scalable, abundant, safe, affordable, and clean energy.
With cities growing and more and more people moving to urban areas, the need to find and implement sustainable, healthy, and affordable solutions is essential and urgent. Penn State researchers collaborate across disciplines to identify and implement solutions on a global scale.
Population growth, development, and environmental changes are increasing stress on water resources throughout the world. At Penn State, researchers work to understand and manage water and biogeochemical cycles as coupled earth systems to ensure a sustainable future.