Laboratory for Energy and the Environment

The Laboratory for Energy and the Environment (LFEE) supports, coordinates, and conducts research and education on sustainability issues that influence development and welfare worldwide. The LFEE brings together collaborating faculty and staff from 14 departments to address the complex, long-term, multifaceted problems of sustainable development. LFEE multidisciplinary teams work not only on technological solutions but also on the economic, political, and social aspects associated with their realization. As a neutral broker, LFEE aims to foster constructive relationships between industry, governments, academia, and the public to seek solutions to long-range environment and energy issues. LFEE works to build better understanding of the many issues between and among developed and developing nations that arise in the context of meeting global environmental challenges. A central theme running through all of LFEE's initiatives is the role of science and technology in shaping better environmental policy at all levels in both the public and private sectors. The education program of LFEE is committed to educating the next generation of environmental and sustainability leaders worldwide via joint projects locally and nationally, and through participation in international education programs with our partners around the world.

Professor David H. Marks of the Engineering Systems Division and the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering is director of LFEE. He is supported by Professor Jeffrey Steinfeld (Chemistry), director of the LFEE Education Program; Stephen Connors, coordinator of multidisciplinary research; Dr. Teresa Hill, deputy director for communications and program; and administrative officer John O'Brien. Professors Kenneth Oye and Mario Molina and principal research scientist Dr. Joanne Kauffman help coordinate the research activities at MIT affiliated with the Alliance for Global Sustainability (MIT/AGS). The executive committee of the MIT Council on the Environment serves as the steering committee for the LFEE.


The 2001 founding of the Laboratory for Energy and the Environment culminated MIT's 10-year effort to bring together researchers from all corners of the Institute to collaborate on problem solving and innovative management in support of a sustainable future. LFEE includes experts in a variety of disciplines studying the complex interrelationships between energy and the environment as well as other global environmental challenges to sustainable development. LFEE scholars look at single technologies in depth and also across technologies to see how their use and improvement might lead to better management and policy formation. Highlights from AY2003 reflect this constructive development.

In AY2003, LFEE attracted new faculty and additional resources to support multidisciplinary research programs, expanded its educational initiatives both locally and internationally, identified major challenges in meeting growing global transportation demands, significantly advanced ongoing work on carbon sequestration and built a consortium of sponsors to support this effort.

The LFEE research volume for FY2003 was about $7 million including sponsored research and fund accounts. LFEE research programs engage over 50 MIT faculty members and over 100 students annually.

In spring 2003 the entire fourth floor of Building E40 was renovated and restructured to accommodate LFEE, the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR), and the Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change. The new space includes workspace for 57 graduate students.

Building synergy across the Institute, LFEE director Professor Marks cochairs the Council on the Environment with MIT's chancellor Professor Phillip L. Clay. The lab's weekly seminar series on global environment and sustainability issues draws participants from many research groups. The seminar series includes presentations of work in progress on environmental challenges and technology options as well as discussions of timely issues by invited guests. Last spring, Professor John Deutch's talk on hydrogen fuel cells was held in Tang Hall, as no room in E40 could accommodate the large audience.

Internationally, LFEE continues to oversee MIT's participation in the Alliance for Global Sustainability (AGS). MIT's Alliance coordinators, Professor Marks and Dr. Kauffman, were instrumental in organizing the 2003 annual meeting of the AGS, held this year in Tokyo. The meeting attracted scholars and stakeholders from industry, government, and NGOs around the world. The proceedings of the meeting will serve as a resource for LFEE's own affiliates as well as for other academics who are concerned with the application of scholarly research to sustainable development. A highlight of this year's meeting was the extensive participation of students whose work was presented in a poster session.

Through LFEE's coordinating role, MIT hosted the annual technical meeting of the AGS in November 2002. At this gathering, AGS launched a new category of research partnerships for sustainable development designed to involve more stakeholders and sponsors in multidisciplinary, integrated research.

The AGS book series Science and Technology: Tools for Sustainable Development published two new books in FY2003. Both focused on methods and modeling for sustainable development. Wolfgang Zimmer and Rainer Zust contributed ECODESIGN Pilot: Product Investigation, Learning and Optimization Tool for Sustainable Product Development. Baldur Eliasson and Yam Y. Lee edited the 800-page report of the China Energy Technology Program, Integrated Assessment of Sustainable Energy Systems in China. Both volumes included CD-ROMs enabling readers to apply to their own unique circumstances the models developed by these authors. The Eliasson-Lee publication is also linked through the CD to a web site where investigators can interact—a notable development in the evolving role of publishing applications and technologies.

The Clean Diesel Fuel Research Initiative Program received renewed funding for a long-term research program to identify and assess the potential for significantly cleaner diesel fuels. The program is a collaboration between LFEE affiliates in the Sloan Automotive Laboratory and the Chemical Engineering Department.

The graduate elective on sustainable energy (22.811J/10.391J/ESD66/11/371J/1.818J/3.564J) was offered for the sixth time in the spring 2003 term. The course was taught collaboratively by faculty members affiliated with LFEE and the Nuclear Engineering and Chemical Engineering departments. Sustainable Energy lectures were broadcast to Cambridge University in support of the Cambridge-MIT Institute's new MPhils in Engineering for Sustainable Development, and Technology Policy.

The Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR) continued its research focus on emissions trading and electric utility restructuring during the 2002–2003 academic year. Collaborative with researchers at Cambridge University under the Cambridge MIT Institute Electricity Project continued and Dr. Michael Pollitt of the Judge Institute of Management Studies was a visitor at CEEPR during the spring semester. Two workshops were held during the year, both in Cambridge, MA. CEEPR is directed by Professor Paul Joskow; Dr. A. Denny Ellerman is executive director.

The Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, codirected by Professors Henry Jacoby and Ronald Prinn, continues to gain recognition as a leading center of research in its field. This recognition comes not only in the form of new associates and the continuing flow of financial support, but also in the form of more invitations to participate in expert reviews and assessments and to speak or otherwise participate in various meetings.

The Carbon Capture and Sequestration Technologies Program, led by LFEE's Howard Herzog, continued its leadership work in assessing and researching technologies for carbon dioxide mitigation through carbon capture and sequestration. Funding for this work comes from a variety of sources, including the US Department of Energy, the Electric Power Research Institute, and the Carbon Sequestration Initiative (a nine-member industrial consortium).

The Building Technology Program, led by Professor Leon Glicksman, initiated an implementation phase of its work on cleaner building technologies in China with a demonstration project and related education and training workshops in China. The program also began work on sustainable building technologies in collaboration with scholars at Cambridge University in the UK as part of the Cambridge-MIT Institute.

The Analysis Group for Regional Electricity Alternatives (AGREA), led by the LFEE's Stephen Connors, continues to apply it multiattribute tradeoff-analysis approach to the assessment of environmentally responsible energy technology portfolios. AGREA currently supports research with several AGS and MIT/AGS projects, focusing on Mexico City and electricity for rural areas of developing countries. In March 2003, the AGS's China Energy Technology Program had its closing ceremony in Beijing, where copies of the new AGS book based on the project's research were distributed to Chinese decision makers. Other AGREA projects include emissions reductions resulting from renewable generation in the US, and sustainable energy pathways for Scandinavia.

In the past year, LFEE continued to invest in projects that support China's efforts to improve energy efficiency in buildings and projects to improve the safety and reliability of the expanding nuclear industry in China and elsewhere. The focus of the sustainable buildings project is on residential buildings in large Chinese cities beginning with Beijing and Shanghai. The project has emphasized the use of materials and building styles appropriate to and available in localities. The research includes an implementation and outreach phase with workshops and demonstration projects organized for stakeholders in China. Two LFEE-affiliated MIT research groups, the Building Technology Program and the Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems, are studying conditions in China.

Dr. Edward Kern at the LFEE, working with MIT's Department of Facilities, was awarded a grant from the Massachusetts Renewable Energy Trust to establish the MIT Community Solar Power Initiative. The Initiative will install approximately 80 kW of solar photovoltaic systems at MIT and in neighboring communities. Roughly 20 kW will be installed on campus, with the remaining 60 kW offered to homeowners and businesses in Cambridge, Watertown, Arlington, Lexington, and Waltham.

Professor Ernest Moniz of the Physics Department and former Undersecretary of the US Department of Energy joined LFEE as the Director of Energy Studies. His recent work has focused on energy security. In the April 2002 feature article in a special energy issue of Physics Today, Professor Moniz emphasized that while there is no one "magical solution" to global energy problems, "a host of approaches can help meet energy and environmental imperatives". These options include ensuring sufficient energy for sustainable global development in ways that avoid geopolitical conflict and preserve the environment.

LFEE includes both core component and affiliated programs. The component programs in LFEE for 2003 were the Alliance for Global Sustainability (international focus); the MIT/AGS Consortium on Environmental Challenges (focus on science and technology in environmental decision making); the Carbon Management and Sequestration Program; the Analysis Group for Regional Electricity Alternatives, the Political Economy and Technology Policy Group, and the Center on Airborne Organics, Affiliated research programs are also supported in the Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems; the Sloan Automotive Laboratory; the Building Technology Program; the Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research; the Materials Systems Laboratory; and the MIT Center for International Studies. The LFEE Education Program develops sustainability curricula and programs at Institute, local, national, and international levels.

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Component Programs

Alliance for Global Sustainability

AGS-supported research brings together scholars from the three founding partner universities (MIT, the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, and the University of Tokyo), fourth partner (Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden), and stakeholders from industry, NGOs, government, and other leading academic institutions to address complex environmental problems that transcend geographical and disciplinary boundaries. In AY2003 the annual meeting of the AGS was hosted by the University of Tokyo.

AGS projects have traditionally fallen within three major focus areas: water, energy, and mobility. In addition, some of the projects address crosscutting issues such as urban systems, cleaner technologies, policies and institutions, and communications and outreach for sustainable development. AGS project leaders have raised more than $20 million to supplement these projects and related sustainability research at the partner universities.

This year, the AGS initiated a new project category, research partnerships. These crosscutting groupings were established to promote integrated projects and to involve external partnerships in AGS projects. The first research partnerships include:

In addition to its research programs the AGS supports education and outreach initiatives to raise awareness of the important role of science and technology in meeting the sustainability challenge to future development and to equip the next generation of leaders with the knowledge and skills they need to address such challenges throughout their careers. Among these initiatives is the AGS-supported Youth Environmental Summit (YES) in Braunwald, Switzerland. In 2002, the program brought 40 graduate students from over 30 countries to two two-week intensive study programs on sustainability with a focus on implementation of Agenda 21.

Professor David Marks and Dr. Joanne Kauffman are the MIT coordinators for the AGS.

MIT/AGS Consortium on Environmental Challenges

In 2002–2003, the MIT/AGS created stronger ties with the international AGS program with a regional focus on environment and sustainability issues. This integration provides greater international reach and synergy in the programs initiated at MIT, as well as enhanced visibility through the AGS International education and outreach programs. The MIT/AGS focuses on the role of scientific and technological knowledge in environmental decision making and seeks to provide recommendations for improving the scientific foundation for policies and decisions that affect the global environment. The MIT management team for the program includes Professors David Marks, Mario Molina, and Kenneth Oye, and Dr. Joanne Kauffman. The goals of the program are to:

MIT/AGS-affiliated scholars from across the Institute are assessing the state of knowledge needed to effectively meet global environmental challenges by focusing on specific issue areas.

In 2002-2003, MIT/AGS programs focused on energy choices for the future including sustainable building technologies, safety of nuclear energy systems, and carbon management and sequestration; the automobile and sustainability with an emphasis on options for future road transportation; water for a sustainable future; air quality in the world's burgeoning megacities (case study on Mexico City); and ways to improve decision making under conditions of uncertainty.

Through this initiative, researchers seek to understand how to increase the role scientific evidence and technological knowledge play or can play in meeting the challenges posed by environmental risks to economic development and social welfare.

The Mexico City Integrated Assessment Project is an important example of how the best science and technology can be applied to help solve contemporary environmental problems. The program, which is supported by the Mexican government as well as through the MIT/AGS consortium and other sources, is working with public officials and stakeholders on ways to improve air quality in Mexico City and contribute to the solution of related regional and global air quality problems. The project includes identification of sources and effects of air pollution in Mexico City through high quality science carried out at MIT and with its partners in Mexico and elsewhere. The project is led by Professor Mario Molina and Dr. Luisa Molina. More information can be found at the project's web site at

Carbon Management and Sequestration Program

The field of carbon capture and sequestration is attracting much interest due to increasing concerns about global climate change. Our continuing work on carbon sequestration technologies focuses on three areas: assessment, education/outreach, and basic research. Howard Herzog leads this effort. Some of key research thrusts are:

In addition, the program has been involved in many national and international efforts related to carbon capture and sequestration. Specifically, Howard Herzog is a coordinating lead author for the IPCC Special Report on Carbon Capture and Storage (to be completed in March 2005). He has also been designated as one of the two US Technical Experts for the Carbon Sequestration Leadership Forum (a ministerial-level agreement between 14 countries to promote research into carbon sequestration technologies).

Additional information can be found on the program web site at

Analysis Group for Regional Electricity Alternatives

LFEE research in the area of strategic planning for energy infrastructures and environmental performance is centered in the Analysis Group for Regional Electricity Alternatives (AGREA), led by Stephen Connors. The scenario-based multi-attribute tradeoff-analysis approach, developed in the 1980s by Energy Laboratory researchers, is the primary tool used by AGREA. Current group projects include the recently completed AGS China Energy Technology Program, with its AGS Series book, including an interactive results DVD published by Kluwer. Other projects are looking at the emissions reduction options for Mexico City, and clean and renewable electricity opportunities in Scandinavia and developing countries. These projects are aimed primarily at providing useful technical performance and cost information to decision makers, but not on an individual technology basis.

This research shows that cost—and especially emissions—are influenced by both the characteristics of technologies and the composition of the infrastructure. As infrastructures evolve over time or respond seasonally to energy demand and fuel costs, clean and dirty technologies may be used more or less. One new US EPA-sponsored project is looking at how solar energy may reduce emissions from existing US power plants. Which power plants are more likely to be "displaced" by solar power in one region versus another? Will plants burn coal or gas? For example, in Texas electricity demand in the summer is very high, as is the generation of electricity from solar photovoltaic (PV) systems. However, summer mid-day power in Texas is often based on natural gas, a much cleaner source of fossil generation than coal or oil. Solar PV is equally or even more effective in reducing emissions (especially SO2) in winter even though less electricity is being produced by the PV systems, because it displaces dirtier forms of power generation. AGREA's goal is to extend this work to other emissions-displacing options such as wind power, energy efficiency, and electricity storage.

Political Economy and Technology Policy Group

The Political Economy and Technology Policy Group, led by Professor Kenneth Oye, is a joint program of the LFEE and the Center for International Studies. Its purpose is to identify means to improve the quality of public and private responses to critical environmental problems by combining expertise on problems of political economy with fundamental understanding of scientific and technical issues. The group's research focuses on three key areas for improving environmental decision making. The first area is the use of scientific information in public policy making. The intent is to identify methods for more robust and integrated assessments of policy options and for credible assessments of risks in areas of environmental policy controversy. The second area of study is the capacity of political institutions to adapt to new information. The third area is the assessment of the private effects of public environmental policies, with specific attention to the competitive position of firms, sectors, and nations. The group currently is launching a study of links among regulation, the utilization of technologies, and industrial structure.

In 2002–2003 the Political Economy and Technology Policy Group was engaged in a broad range of activities, some of which were jointly funded by AGS and other institutions. This research group has:

Center on Airborne Organics

The EPA Center on Airborne Organics directed by Professor Jack B. Howard completed its work in AY2003. A major goal of this center has been to better understand pollution of ambient airsheds by energy and other industrial sources and to use that understanding to prescribe new means of detecting and tracing organic pollutants and new methodologies for preventing pollutant emissions altogether. The ten-year lifetime of the center was completed September 30, 2002, and a comprehensive final technical report summarizing the research achievements and public policy impacts of the center will be issued.

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Affiliated Research

Building Technology Program

Faculty and students in building technology are conducting a major program of sustainable building design and technology for developing countries. Participants are actively cooperating with colleagues at Tsinghua University and Tongji University and Chinese developers and designers. The focus is on residential buildings in large Chinese cities. Projects include the design of four high-rise residential structures in Beijing, two mid-rise multi-story housing units in Shanghai's Taidong residential quarter, and a low-rise residential community in Shenzhen City. The goal of these projects is the development of demonstration buildings that use appropriate technologies and designs as teaching tools and examples for future projects in Chinese cities. New technologies such as night cooling, solar-driven dehumidification, and ground-coupled heat pumps are being evaluated, as is the incorporation of traditional technologies such as shading and natural ventilation. A book on sustainable energy for Chinese buildings detailing the findings of these studies is being prepared; it will be published as part of the AGS series.

MIT, ETHZ, and Chalmers are cooperating with Tsinghua University and the Ministry of Construction in China to develop new sustainable guidelines for Chinese housing. The proposed guidelines will be included in a web-based tool for designers and developers. Follow-up studies of housing projects in several Chinese cities will also be undertaken.

The building technology group also is cooperating with colleagues at the University of Tokyo in a study dealing with reduction of pollution from megacities such as Tokyo and Shanghai. This technical work is being carried out in cooperation with the University of Tokyo and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology. In this project, technologies such as ground source heat pumps and advanced facades are being evaluated. Ground source heat pumps use low-grade geothermal energy to improve efficiency for both heating and cooling of buildings. The ground source air conditioner, which stores or extracts heat underground, will significantly reduce urban heat island effects in the summer. Program members have undertaken a comprehensive study of advanced building facades that have air circulation between multiple glazing as well as blinds to control solar input and daylighting. These facade systems, when properly used, will reduce energy for air conditioning as well as artificial lighting. They will also improve interior comfort and ventilation. The results have been included in a web-based design tool that can be used by designers in the conceptual design stages.

The building technology group has begun a joint study with Cambridge University under the Cambridge-MIT Institute. This research focuses on sustainable commercial buildings in the UK and US. It involves design and technology studies for large new projects; detailed monitoring of existing buildings; and fundamental and applied studies of new energy technologies such as natural ventilation to replace or reduce energy requirements for air conditioning.

Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems

The Center for Advanced Nuclear Energy Systems (CANES) aims to create research concepts for nuclear energy systems that promise more favorable economics, safety, proliferation resistance, and environmental impact. The center's programs involve development and application of methods for the design, operation, and regulation of current and advanced nuclear reactors and fuel cycles. These efforts require advances in knowledge about traditional scientific and technical disciplines, modern methods of systems reliability, probabilistic safety analysis and decision analysis, together with human interactions and management science. Professor Mujid S. Kazimi is the director of CANES.

Center programs involve four major thrusts: developing advanced reactor plant technology options; investigating alternative nuclear fuel cycles from the economic and environmental points of view; providing new methods to enhance operations of nuclear power plants in a risk-informed regulatory framework; and assessing the role of nuclear energy in a sustainable world.

The center collaborates with DOE's Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory (INEEL,) which has continued to support advanced reactor research projects at MIT. This was the fifth year in which INEEL has given MIT a total of more than $0.5 million tied to about $1 million funding at INEEL for the development of advanced reactors. Four projects were funded under this initiative: the Modular Gas Cooled Reactor under the direction of Professor Andrew Kadak; the Lead-Bismuth Cooled Actinide Fueled Reactor (AFR) under the direction of Professor Todreas; Advanced Fuels for Light Water Reactors under the direction of Professor Kazimi; and the Fast Gas Cooled Gas Turbine Reactor under the direction of Professor Driscoll.

The center established a three-year agreement with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission focused on the technology and regulatory approaches needed for advanced reactor systems. Three areas are being supported in the first phase of this agreement: safety analysis of the gas-cooled high-temperature reactor; methods for risk-informing the regulation of new reactors; and modeling the performance of high-burnup LWR fuel during steady-state irradiation and transients.

A collaboration that started in 1998 between MIT and Tsinghua University that aims to provide China's growing nuclear energy sector with a firmer foundation to develop nuclear safety standards and techniques for enhanced safety features of operating plants has continued. Professor Neil Todreas organized a three-day seminar at Tsinghua on "Generation IV Reactors and Their Regulatory Needs". The speakers involved four other MIT professors and five US speakers from DOE, NRC, and national laboratories. It was attended by 50 Chinese engineers.

Professors Kadak and Kazimi visited the recently completed gas-cooled pebble-bed research reactor and exchanged information about the codes used at MIT and Tsinghua University to simulate the behavior of the reactor. The US DOE and China Atomic Energy Authority recently affirmed their understanding of the nonproliferation assurances required for the exchange of nuclear technology. These reciprocal assurances will enable collaboration between MIT's Department of Nuclear Engineering and Tsinghua's Institute of Nuclear Energy Technology pursuing further research on a Modular High Temperature Gas Pebble Bed Reactor.

Sloan Automotive Laboratory

Many of the laboratory's projects involve quantitative and crossdisciplinary study of complex energy and environmental systems. The laboratory is directed by Professor John Heywood, with participation from Professor Wai Cheng, Professor Doug Hart, Professor James Keck, Dr. David Schmidt, Dr. Tian Tian, Dr.Victor Wong, and Professor William Green. It continues to pursue promising research to improve engine performance, efficiency, and fuel utilization in internal combustion engines and reduce adverse emissions.

Focusing on new engine and fuel technologies, the Engine and Fuels Research Consortium continues to explore critical fuel/air mixture preparation and emission formation mechanisms in developing engine concepts, with potential application to both gasoline and diesel engines. Complementing the engine and fuels studies, the Consortium on Lubrication in Internal Combustion Engines involves major engine component and lubricant manufacturers in addressing issues in oil consumption and engine friction reduction. Some members in these consortia also sponsor separate research projects on related topics of specific application to the individual sponsors. For example, Professors Wai Cheng and John Heywood work with Ford Motor Company on three projects related to engine transients: fuel/air mixture preparation behavior during start up, emission benefits of engine operation in hybrid electric vehicles, and actual in-use vehicle emissions in stop-and-go traffic.

Sloan Laboratory researchers are also involved in assessing new vehicle and propulsion system technologies for future road transportation use. The Sloan Laboratory also engages actively in basic combustion research on advanced engine systems with US DOE support, and in engine emission research with support from the EPA Research Center on Airborne Organics. The initial phase of the Clean Diesel Fuel Research Initiative Program, originally a collaboration between the Energy Laboratory and the Chemical Engineering Department under the University of Alaska-MIT Partnership, is receiving substantial industry support. The initial goal is to identify and assess the potential for significantly cleaner diesel fuels. Plans for a longer term research program have been developed and are expected to be funded shortly. The proposed research will complement extensive fuel-testing programs being conducted elsewhere and will address engine technology/fuels interaction, fuel-processing technology, and special environmental and economic factors.

In a joint project with the Plasma Science and Fusion Center, Professor John Heywood and Sloan Automotive Laboratory graduate students are exploring the opportunities for lean operating spark ignition engines in which a plasmatron device—an electrical discharge-initiated fuel reformer—supplies hydrogen to enable the lean burn. A license to develop this technology has been taken out by ArvinMeritor, and a substantial cooperative research and development program with DOE ArvinMeritor funding is in progress.

Dr. Malcolm Weiss, Professor Heywood, and Dr. Andreas Schafer completed an extension of their earlier work on assessing new vehicle and fuel technologies for passenger car transportation in 2020. They focused on reducing both greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and energy consumption over the total life cycles of the technologies assessed. "Life cycle" includes manufacture and distribution of both fuels and vehicles, in addition to operation on the road, over the entire lifetime of the vehicle. This extension included much more optimistic assumptions, compared to the earlier work, about future progress in developing hydrogen fuel cell (FC) cars. The results showed that, considering the uncertainty of long-range predictions, there is no basis for preferring either FC or internal combustion engine (ICE) hybrid power plants for cars over the next 20 years or so when judging solely by life cycle GHG emissions and energy consumption. Hybrid vehicles, which include both battery and FC or ICE power, are superior to nonhybrid vehicles and the advantages are greater for ICE than for FC cars. Hybrids can reduce GHG and energy to about 37 to 47 percent of current comparable vehicles. Hydrogen FC cars would have a significant GHG advantage if hydrogen could be produced and distributed at reasonable cost from renewable or nuclear energy sources. The authors recommend that developing that capability should be a key national research objective.

The same three principals have been active in the area of future urban freight. The transport of goods in metropolitan areas is an underresearched area compared to passenger transport despite its crucial role in the economic development and social health of urban inhabitants in all parts of the world. Funded by a planning grant from the Volvo Research Foundations, the researchers completed a major proposal to Volvo for a five-year research program on urban freight. The program would be carried out jointly by MIT, the University of Westminster (UK), and the Delft University of Technology (Netherlands). Both Westminster and Delft contributed significant materials that were incorporated into the proposal. A decision from Volvo is expected in December 2003.

Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research

The Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research (CEEPR) is an activity jointly sponsored at MIT by LFEE, the Department of Economics, and the Alfred P. Sloan School of Management. CEEPR funds policy-related research in energy and environmental economics. The center receives financial support from corporate sponsors, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and the Cambridge-MIT Institute.

CEEPR research is focused on evaluating the functioning and performance of markets created for the provision of environmental goods and for providing electricity and associated services. Most of the environmental research is concerned with the relationship between SO2 allowance trading, emission reductions, and compliance under the US Acid Rain Program. CEEPR's research in electricity examines the functioning and performance of new markets being created in many countries as the electric utility sector is restructured. Particular emphasis is placed on how restructuring decisions with respect to asset ownership, transmission access, and customer choice shape these markets and the provision of electricity to consumers.

Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change

This program, codirected by Professors Jacoby of the Sloan School and Prinn of the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences, draws on MIT's traditional strengths in science and economics to conduct the serious interdisciplinary work needed to provide a basis for global climate policy. The now 11-year-old Joint Program is one of the world's leading centers for the integrated assessment of climate change. An MIT Integrated Global Systems Model, developed by program researchers, provides a facility for research on the climate issue and assessment of policy proposals. An interdisciplinary team of faculty, professional staff, and graduate students carries out the work, and it produces a continuing flow of reports, articles, student theses, and professional and public presentations on the science and policy of global warming. Four US government agencies, 20 corporate sponsors in North America, Europe, and Japan, and one foundation support the work.

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Education and Curriculum Initiatives

With the establishment of LFEE, environmental education initiatives at MIT found a new organizational home. To reflect LFEE's commitment to environmental education, the lab established the LFEE Education Program. Professor Jeffrey Steinfeld directs the LFEE Education Program; Dr. Amanda Graham is program manager.

The mission of the LFEE Education Program is to enhance environmental literacy and strengthen the environmental dimension of educational experiences, particularly among the leaders of tomorrow's science and technology communities. The program is dedicated to increasing awareness of the complexity of environmental and sustainability challenges, and to increasing the multidisciplinary capacity of learners to respond effectively to these challenges. A special challenge of the mission of the LFEE Education Program is to ensure that environmental issues and concerns are part of the education of every MIT student, not just those who will become environmental scientists, engineers, and planners. All students at MIT need to understand what is happening in the world that we inhabit, to be aware of how human activities are influencing this world, and to acquire a sense of responsibility for the planet and its inhabitants.

Towards this end, the program has identified three broad constituencies and conducts a range of activities to meet special goals for each group.

MIT Community

LFEE educational goals within MIT are to improve environmental literacy and strengthen education on the environment.

Major campus initiatives during the past year include:

In addition, the program continues to:

Local and Regional Community

LFEE's goals in the local community are to promote MIT's environmental stewardship and to cultivate the improvement of math, science, and technology education, particularly in the Cambridge Public Schools. Major efforts include:

International and National Communities

LFEE is fostering multidisciplinary international environmental education that integrates technological and social perspectives by:

The three sets of objectives of the LFEE Education Program are interconnected and interdependent. Meeting the challenges of environmental sustainability means that lessons learned in LFEE's international environmental research and education are used to inform the environmental dimension of education domestically, as well as vice versa (e.g. sending Cambridge teachers to YES and including international fellows in the education of MIT undergraduates).

David H. Marks
Morton and Claire Goulder Family Professor
Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering Systems

More information about the Laboratory for Energy and the Environment can be found on the web at


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