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Energy Systems Analysis Group

Research Opportunities with the Energy Systems Analysis Group

Members of the Energy Systems Analysis Group (ESAG) advise Princeton undergraduate student independent research, graduate student dissertation research, and post-doctoral fellows.

Topics for Theses and Independent Work for Juniors and Seniors

“Assessment of Biomass-Related Energy Technologies and Systems”
(Eric Larson, elarson@princeton)

Contribute to a major research effort focusing on various aspects of the production and use of biomass (wood, other plant material, municipal solid waste, etc.) as a renewable energy source. The work includes: engineering assessments of advanced technologies for converting biomass into fluid fuels and electricity; analysis relating to land use for biomass production; and assessment of ecosystem impacts of large-scale biomass production. Possible areas for independent research projects include:

  • Analysis of advanced technologies for electricity or combined heat and electricity production via thermochemical gasification of biomass, including gas turbines, fuel cells, and stirling engines.
  • Analysis of advanced industrial processes for production of transportation fuels from biomass (methanol, ethanol, hydrogen, and other fluid fuels).

“The Sequestration of Carbon Dioxide”
(Robert H. Socolow, socolow@Princeton; Robert H. Williams, rwilliam@Princeton; Michael Celia, celia@princeton)

An important but underexamined option for a global energy system responsive to greenhouse constraints involves the conversion of fossil fuels to hydrogen, the sequestration of the fossil carbon as carbon dioxide (e.g. in deep underground aquifers) , and the implementation of a hydrogen economy. Research projects might address:

  • Current and planned fossil fuel projects where carbon dioxide is sequestered (i.e., Exxon at Natuna, Indonesia)
  • Carbon dioxide storage in deep aquifers (chemical and physical processes).

PEI-STEP Environmental Policy Fellowships

ESAG staff and faculty can act as advisors to PEI-STEP Fellows.

Employment Opportunities

Postdoctoral research associate or more senior researcher

Princeton University seeks a postdoctoral research associate or more senior researcher to join the Energy Systems Analysis Group (ESAG) at the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment. ESAG research involves thermodynamic, economic, and environmental systems analysis of advanced energy conversion systems, including processes that transform fossil fuels and/or biomass into electricity, hydrogen, and synthetic liquid or gaseous fuels – with CO2 capture and geologic storage. A Ph.D. in science or engineering is required. We seek an individual to work with us in modeling the prospective evolution over the coming decades of a decarbonized U.S. electricity grid. Experience with algebraic modeling languages used for linear programming (e.g. AMPL, GAMS, etc.) and mixed integer nonlinear optimization are required. Familiarity with combustion-based and renewable electric power generating technologies and with geological storage of CO2 is desirable. Candidates must have excellent English written and spoken communication skills.

Appointments are for one year with possibility of renewal pending continued funds availability and satisfactory performance. Interested applicants must apply online and submit a current CV, a cover letter describing specific areas of expertise and interest, and contact information for three references at

This position is subject to the University’s background check policy.

Princeton University is an Equal Opportunity/Affirmative Action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to age, race, color, religion, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, disability status, protected veteran status, or any other characteristic protected by law.