The University of Chicago is building a substantial research cluster working on the science, technology, and public policy of Climate Systems Engineering. Our goal is to advance understanding of the potential benefits and risks of these technologies and to educate students who will face the challenges of managing industrial civilization on a fragile planet.

Climate Systems Engineering will apply insights from systems engineering and climate systems science to study technologies that might reduce the risks of accumulated greenhouse gases. The mix of specific research topics will evolve as the initiative matures driven by the interests of collaborating researchers and by policy-relevant questions posed by governments and civil society. The scope includes solar geoengineering from modification to surface albedo to space-based systems; open-systems carbon removal such as enhanced rock weathering and related methods of ocean carbon removal; and local interventions to reduce glacial melting. Disciplinary research will be complemented by systems analysis including techno-economic assessment, decision and risk analysis, and integrated assessment.

Initial Objectives

  • Recruiting ladder faculty: CSEi will facilitate hiring an interdisciplinary cluster of collaborative faculty. Applicants are welcome from all academic disciplines, see the opportunities.  Academic faculty will be hired into existing academic units. The CSEi executive committee will screen applicants and work with academic units to manage recruitment and hiring.
  • Recruiting academic visitors and researchers: CSEi will support recruitment of visiting faculty and senior research appointments when these appointments can strengthen the research cluster and compliment current faculty.
  • Supporting the research cluster: CSEi will support current researchers at UChicago and Argonne with seed funding and related research support.
  • Supporting engagement: Climate engineering technologies raise difficult questions of equity and governance. CSEi will support vigorous discussion and debate within UChicago and beyond.
  • Supporting global research: Climate engineering technologies have global implications, so research needs to be global. CSEi will work through UChicago global centers to support exchange of scholars and ideas.

CSEi is in its infancy. The initiative and this website will evolve with the research community it supports.

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