Frequently Asked Questions

RENEW is one of the newest — and most expansive — initiatives launched by UB in recent years. Learn more how we are positioned to address some of the most challenging issues facing our region and world.

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What is the UB RENEW Institute?

RENEW stands for Research and Education in eNergy, Environment and Water. The institute fosters development of innovative research, education, and outreach programs across UB.

The RENEW Institute leverages the expertise of UB faculty, with plans to hire additional faculty, to pursue cutting-edge energy, environmental, and water research. By building on UB’s considerable strengths in these three areas, RENEW increases the visibility and international stature of university-wide research science.

What specific issues does the RENEW Institute address?

Current interests of the RENEW Director, affiliated faculty, and external stakeholders include:

  • Renewable energy
  • Freshwater protection and restoration
  • Contaminants of emerging concern
  • Ecosystem science, engineering, and policy
  • Climate change and resilience
  • The green economy
  • Environmental justice and health equity
  • Environmental management and governance
  • Water Treatment and Water Reuse
  • Environmental Epidemiology

Who leads the institute?

The RENEW Institute is led by Director Diana Aga, PhD. Dr. Aga is also the Henry M. Woodburn Chair and Professor in UB’s Department of Chemistry.

Who funds the institute?

Ongoing support unding for RENEW  is provided by the Provost and the Office of the Vice President, Research and Economic Development to support faculty, research scientist, and staff workign to advancecomes from UB and the schools and colleges that are heavily involved in the institute. The initial investment of $15 million over five years will fund faculty hires and further interdisciplinary research and education.

Researchers participating in the RENEW Institute pursue external research funding support from federal, state, and private sector sponsors, as well as philanthropic funding from foundations and corporations.

Why did UB establish the RENEW Institute?

Responding to climate change and its impact on the environment, as well as global energy and water resource management is one of the preeminent challenges of our time. As a leading public research university, UB is committed to addressing regional and global environmental challenges through enduring scholarship and intellectual innovation.

The RENEW Institute is an outcome of the UB 2020 planning effort, which  engaged faculty, staff and students in aspirational conversations about the university’s role in shaping  the twenty-first century.

Why is UB uniquely positioned to launch the RENEW Institute?

Sustainability is an institutional priority, with more than 100 UB faculty members and dozens of departments already engaged in research related to RENEW themes. 

RENEW grew from UB’s depth of faculty expertise in environmental research and from UB’s existing multidisciplinary environmental research and sustainability efforts. Moreover, tThe challenges addressed by the RENEW Institute are of significance to Western New York, a region that includes two Great Lakes, Niagara Falls and an international border with Canada.

How does the RENEW Institute improve research and education at UB?

By establishing a core group of scholars focused on sustainability and climate science aspects of the themes of energy, water, and environment, and by improving communication across thelinking scholars of relevant disciplines across decanal units, the RENEW Institute strengthens ideation, research, and solution development in crucial areas of inquiry.