The Engineering Research Visioning Alliance (ERVA) has issued a report delineating bold, fundamental research priorities the engineering research community can pursue to address climate change. This inaugural report from the U.S. National Science Foundation-funded initiative results from a visioning event that convened more than 100 leading researchers from universities, industry and government.

A review of climate change research literature indicates that energy technologies are receiving far more attention by researchers around the world than topics focused on carbon removal, mitigating the effects of greenhouse gases through geoengineering, or addressing the impacts of climate change on health. ERVA scientists have therefore identified priority areas and opportunities for engineering research to pursue.

Relevant and fundamental research must focus on critical materials in all engineered systems, especially in extraction, separation, recycling and upcycling, and energy conversion, as well as carbon dioxide mitigation. Sensor, sensing and communication capabilities are urgently needed to facilitate data compilation and analysis. Emphasis must also be placed on the deployment of artificial intelligence modeling for forecasting and trend analyses.

The report highlights research priorities within the realms of:

  • Energy storage, transmission and critical materials
  • Greenhouse gas capture and elimination
  • Resilient, energy-efficient and healthful infrastructure
  • Water, ecosystems and geoengineering assessment

Access the report to discover specific research directions through which engineering can take the lead and have impact in combatting climate change.

To contact the author of this article, email