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.

Through research and education, we tackle complex energy and environmental issues; in so doing, we connect the dots among complex sustainability challenges, including their environmental justice dimensions.


Extreme weather events associated with climate change as well as sustainability challenges pose existential threats to human existence. The RENEW Institute at the University at Buffalo (UB) is uniquely situated to characterize and respond to these threats because of transdisciplinary faculty expertise in relevant disciplines, including material science and engineering, environmental studies and engineering, architecture and planning, earth sciences, and public health.

Moreover, UB’s location itself is an asset for RENEW. Located in Western New York State, the university enjoys proximity to exceptional natural beauty and resources, including two of the Great Lakes, which serve as field research sites for a number of RENEW scientists.  The work of RENEW is also of immediate importance to local stakeholders. Informed in part by the legacy of industrial contamination and remediation efforts at sites such as Love Canal, there is heightened community awareness of environmental and ecological health in this region. 

New Ideas

As a major public research university, UB is committed to addressing regional and global environmental challenges through engaged scholarship and intellectual innovation.

RENEW’s research addresses a variety of prominent sustainability and climate resilience issues, including:

  • 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

Our interdisciplinary approach— involving the faculties of the School of Architecture and Planning, College of Arts and Sciences, School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, Law School, School of Management, Jacobs School of Medicine, and School of Public Health and Health Professions — is designed to foster new collaborations and produce new ideas.