About Us

The RENEW Institute is a university-wide, multidisciplinary research institute that focuses on complex energy and environmental issues, as well as the social and economic issues to which they are connected.

As a major public research university, UB is committed to addressing regional and global energy and environmental challenges through scholarship and intellectual innovation. RENEW enables the university to transform aims into action. Building upon the strengths of faculty from seven UB schools and colleges, RENEW fosters transformative change through research, education, and community engagement activities. The institute’s over-arching goal is to advance equity and environmental justice through research and innovation in Energy, Water and Environmental Sustainability.

Developed with the input of the RENEW steering committee – a new governance framework established by Director Diana Aga – RENEW has four focus areas that are based on strengths in the UB community and responsive to pressing and under-addressed social needs:

Sustainable Water and Engineered Systems, led by Ning Dai (civil, structural and environmental engineering) and Thomas Thundat (chemical and biological engineering and RENEW Institute).

Climate Change and Socioeconomic Impacts, led by Sophie Nowicki (geology and RENEW Institute) and Nicholas Rajkovich (architecture).

Renewable Energy and Sustainable Communities, led by Andrew Crooks (geography) and Miao Yu (chemical and biological engineering and RENEW Institute).

Environmental Pollution and Human Health Implications, led by Haiqing Lin (chemical and biological engineering) and Lina Mu (epidemiology and environmental health).

The four focus areas bring together researchers with convergent interests to develop programs and proposals, with RENEW’s administrative and logistical support.


Solar Farm.

Our Focus

University at Buffalo’s Research and Education in eNergy, Environment and Water (RENEW) Institute is a transdisciplinary, university-wide initiative that addresses the fundamental, interlocking survival issues that face human beings of the twenty-first century.


Leadership and Staff

Led by Director Dr. Diana Aga, RENEW administrative staff and staff scientists support the Institute’s interdisciplinary research and program activities by providing data analysis and visualization; economic analysis; information about sponsorship and funding opportunities; robust professional and community connections; and logistical support. 


RENEW Steering Committee

Selected for their expertise in an area of energy, environment, or water research—as well as their shared concern for the equity implications of RENEW’s work—the RENEW Steering Committee provides the Director with planning guidance and advice. The interdisciplinary makeup of RENEW’s Steering Committee ensures that the Institute is innovative and crosscutting in its approach to the Energy, Environment, and Water challenges that we face in the twenty-first century.

Bronze Buffalo.

Participating Schools and Colleges

RENEW scientists and affiliated faculty have academic homes across the university, a structural feature of the institute that encourages transdisciplinary collaboration and fosters innovation.


Frequently Asked Questions

RENEW is one of the most expansive initiatives to have been launched by UB. Learn more about our founding, our mission, and our grand challenges.

UB Flag on Tree.

About UB

Founded in 1846, the University at Buffalo (UB) is flagship campus of the State University of New York (SUNY) system. According to the Wall Street Journal/Times Higher Education College Rankings, UB is the No. 1 public university in New York State; when compared to nearly 800 public universities in the United States, it is rated No. 31. One of America’s leading research universities, UB is the choice of over 30,000 students from across the US and more than 100 countries around the world.

Buffalo Niagara.

Buffalo Niagara

The Buffalo Niagara region is a major metropolitan area with a diverse blend of communities.