campus as lab

By Catherine Zandonella, Office of the Dean for Research. This article originally appeared on the Princeton University Homepage.

Several new research projects that promise to expand the bounds of knowledge have been selected to receive funding through Princeton’s Office of the Dean for Research.

For their junior papers, students in Professor Denise Mauzerall’s WWS 402 junior task force: Sustainability at Princeton University: Lessons for Campus and the World, recommended policy frameworks to guide sustainability efforts both on and off campus. Backed by both qualitative interviews and quantitative survey data, the students’ recommendations emphasized scalable initiatives that could be demonstrated at Princeton, but also applied more broadly by others to address a range of global challenges.

Ethos – Daily Culture

In last spring’s course, ENE 202: Designing Sustainable Systems taught by Dr. Forrest Meggers, eight teams of students gained hands-on experience with designing and testing solutions to address sustainability challenges on campus. A summary of the design projects is provided below:

Dean for Research Innovation Fund for the Campus as a Lab: Faculty Research in Sustainability, Energy and the Environment

Proposals due: November 20, 2017

Learn about Campus as Lab projects that have studied sustainability challenges right here on campus at PEI Discovery Day and Princeton Research Day. Featured projects include plant communication in agriculture, rammed earth construction, geothermal energy, smart-lighting systems, and electric marine propulsion. 

PEI Discovery Day

Frick Chemistry Atrium

The Campus as Lab program was recently featured at the semi-annual Spring Flexitarian Night dinner at Forbes College. While students enjoyed barbecue jack fruit tacos and made-to-order salad bowls, a screen projected rotating slides with fall courses and research opportunities that use Princeton’s campus as a test bed to solve real-world sustainability issues. The Campus as Lab team then touched on these opportunities in a brief presentation, and met with students afterwards for further discussion.

The Office of Sustainability held a Campus as Lab Spring Open House for students to learn about new sustainability research projects, and internship opportunities on Princeton’s campus.

"We want to make it easy for you to know how much energy you're using right now," said Savraj Singh ‘03 in his opening remarks about Tiger Energy, a live energy dashboard developed by his company, Wattvision. Singh presented the visualization tool that he developed in partnership with the Office of Sustainability to a group of students at a Campus as Lab lunch seminar last month on energy data visualization efforts on campus.

by Somi Jun '20

In 2012, Princeton’s Office of Sustainability began a partnership with Savraj Singh ‘03 to track and visualize the university’s live energy usage. The collaboration with Singh’s company, Wattvision, has since culminated in Tiger Energy, which breaks down campus energy supply and usage in colorful, easy-to-understand charts. 

This past fall, students in Dr. Shana Weber’s seminar, ENV 327: Investigating an Ethos of Sustainability at Princeton, engaged with faculty and staff of diverse expertise to examine global sustainability issues and how they manifest locally on the Princeton campus. For the final assignment, students proposed demonstration-scale campus interventions with the overall goal of strengthening the sustainability ethos at Princeton.

Below is a summary of the students’ recommendations by topic:



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