Institute of Energy and the Environment

Solving the world's critical energy and environmental challenges

The Institute of Energy and the Environment (IEE) connects and supports interdisciplinary teams of researchers that are solving some of the world’s most difficult energy and environmental challenges. 

Our world needs abundant, clean, safe, and affordable energy. Our planet also needs innovative solutions to sustain a healthy, protected environment. Together, we find answers that advance our local, state, national, and global communities.  

IEE's research is organized into the five strategic themes below that bring focus to the mission of our programsresearchersfacilities, projects, and events.

Climate and Ecosystem Change

Correcting Our Course

The world is feeling the pressures of Climate and Ecosystem Change. This includes increasing temperatures, flooding, drought, more powerful and frequent storms, wildfires, crop loss, illness, thawing glaciers, and rising sea levels.

Scientists from around the world, including Penn State, are focusing on climate change, committing to understand it, stop it, and reverse it.

Health and the Environment

Protecting Wellness

People need healthy places to live, work, and play. By investigating Health and the Environment, scientists have identified many of the factors that contribute to negative human health impacts, such as pollution, chemicals, emerging diseases, and even climate change. These can vary from a headache to cancer.

Research efforts are starting to understand these complex health-environment relationships and identify ways to improve where we live and work and, in turn, human health. Penn State continues to focus on these crucial efforts to create a sustainable healthy world.

Integrated Energy Systems

Powering Tomorrow

As the world population grows and modernizes, the demand for energy increases. However, the world is searching for new ways to make energy clean, safe, abundant, and affordable. Although much of the world’s energy portfolio is based on fossil fuels, and may be for the foreseeable future, researchers are investigating how to better current processes through Integrated Energy Systems.

Penn State scientists are among those searching for energy improvements, including energy efficiency, renewable energy, and cleaner fossil fuels. 

Urban Systems

Building with Life in Mind

Cities are expanding, becoming the hub of life for billions of people around the world. With increases of such magnitude, there are stresses placed on infrastructure, transportation, resources, space, and ultimately people. The methods used to build cities of the past will not suffice. Research shows that cities can damage the environment and human health in multiple ways.

From architects to social scientists, Penn State is working to make Urban Systems livable and sustainable.

Water and Biogeochemical Cycles

Sustaining Life

The Water and Biogeochemical Cycles that continually move nutrients and water throughout the Earth are vital. However, they are under stress. Humans affect more than 50% of the biosphere, impacting these cycles regularly. Scientists are working to identify how we can live and work in harmony with these cycles, allowing them operate at healthy levels.

Penn State researchers work to understand and manage water and biogeochemical cycles as coupled earth systems to ensure a sustainable future.

Collaborate with Us

IEE's reach and involvement span all of the Penn State campuses, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and the globe. Our research themes focus on timely energy and environmental challenges, as well as the unique opportunities that Penn State researchers have in shaping our shared future.

Join us in this compelling and critical mission.

Research & Education

Learn about Penn State energy and environmental research, faculty, education, and funding opportunities.

News & Events

Read about the latest research that is happening at Penn State and browse a collection of upcoming in-person and virtual events.


Give today for a better tomorrow. Help transform research to action - for your community, for our community, for the global community.