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.

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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 who share an interest in sustainability and climate resilience in 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 for RENEW is provided by the Provost and the Office of the Vice President, Research and Economic Development to support faculty, research scientists, and staff working to advance 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?

Formulating a response to the changing climate's impact on the environment, and effective stewardship of global energy and water resources are among the preeminent challenges of our time. As a leading public research university, UB is committed to addressing regional and global environmental challenges through transdisciplinary research 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 leadership role in responding to our era's grand challenges and opportunities. 

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 leverages institutional strengths in crosscutting environmental research and sustainability efforts, as well as significant faculty expertise in energy, water, and environmental research. Moreover, the geographic location of UB itself deepens the significance of the RENEW Institute: Buffalo is situated in Western New York, a region that includes legacy environmental contamination sites, a recent economic revitalization, 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 energy, water, and environment, and by linking scholars of relevant disciplines across decanal units, the RENEW Institute strengthens ideation, research, and solution development in crucial areas of inquiry.