Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXII, No. 28
Wednesday, July 9, 2008
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$100 Million Andlinger Gift to Help PU Research on Energy and Environment

Ellen Gilbert

In a time of high gas prices, global warming, melting polar ice caps, and related problems, Princeton University will be able to focus on finding answers to questions about energy and environment thanks to a $100 million gift from alumnus Gerhard Andlinger. The monies will go to the creation of the Gerhard R. Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, which will be part of the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences.

Dean H. Vincent Poor commented that the gift “will allow us to leverage existing strengths across the University — in engineering, in the natural sciences, and in the social sciences — to address the very important societal issues surrounding the production of energy and its effects on the environment.”

The focus of the Andlinger Center’s research will be on improving energy efficiency and conservation, developing sustainable energy sources, and improving the management of carbon. Materials engineering will be a primary emphasis in each of the key areas, since newly developed materials could potentially increase energy efficiency.

The Center and its programs aim to foster interdisciplinary collaboration within the University and to work together with industry researchers.

Mr. Poor noted that “the gift will enable this work by allowing us to construct a new state-of-the-art research laboratory, and to create an energy and environment neighborhood to bring together faculty and students whose interests are focused in this area. Moreover, it will allow us to significantly expand our efforts in the area, and to reach out to industry, government, and other universities in order to maximize their impact on society.”

Mr. Andlinger is a longtime philanthropist, and has given gifts to Princeton University and other institutions in the past. His website notes that “the generosity of others made it possible for Gerhard Andlinger to come to the United States for college, and throughout his career he has never forgotten those who have helped him.” Born in Linz, Austria, Mr. Andlinger was granted a scholarship to Princeton in 1950 at age 19.

When Mr. Poor first found out about Mr. Andlinger’s interest in contributing to scientific research within the field, he described himself as “delighted.” He added that Mr. Andlinger is “very knowledgeable about technological, scientific, and policy issues relating to energy and environment, and so he is very engaged and passionate about technological innovation in this area.”

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