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Director's Message

Welcome to the Vanderbilt Institute for Energy and Environment website. As the inaugural VIEE Director, I am delighted to have a chance to write a few words about the Institute. We aim to make a difference in solving critical problems by encouraging the work being done by our outstanding faculty and students already engaged in the venture, and by stimulating new work planned for the Institute that will include interacting with people who will join us in the future.

We're at a time in our history when meeting energy demands while controlling and reversing environmental degradation are among our most important problems. The focus for VIEE is at the intersection of these two fundamental areas. How can we minimize the impact of energy production and use on the environment? How can we use our knowledge of the environment - gained through scholarship and research in engineering, natural sciences, and social sciences - to our best advantage in satisfying our energy needs? The Institute is the answer to tackling these questions. It has a broad mandate with ambitious goals for scholarship, teaching and outreach. Our vision for VIEE is to become an international leader in contributing to the resolution of critical issues by fostering links among diverse fields of human thought and action in unprecedented collaborations.

To reach our goals, it's absolutely essential that we learn how to work together within interdisciplinary teams on social, economic, legal and technical aspects of problems. VIEE seeks to engage members of the faculty, graduate students, undergraduate students and post-doctoral researchers from various disciplines and schools at Vanderbilt, along with partners from other universities, industries, non-governmental organizations and government agencies in our enterprise. VIEE will conduct work that is academically rigorous and yet fosters practical advice to the external world where decisions must be made, regulations must be established, and policies must be implemented.

We invite you to explore our Institute and look forward to answering any questions or comments you may have.

George Hornberger