Stevens to create Center for Sustainability thanks to latest gift from PSEG Foundation

Stevens Institute of Technology has received a $1.45 million gift from the Public Service Enterprise Group Foundation to further develop sustainability programming at the school, to promote access to opportunities in the field of sustainability and development a pipeline of talent prepared to address threats to sustainable development.

This gift, the latest in a long relationship between the school and PSEG, will greatly enhance Stevens’ educational and research capabilities in resilience and sustainability, and enable the school to create the Stevens Center for Sustainability.

Dibs Sarkar, a professor of environmental engineering and the founding director of the sustainability management graduate program, who will lead the Stevens Center for Sustainability, was thrilled.

“Anyone who cares about the future, cares about sustainability,” he said.

“With this generous gift and the continued support of the PSEG Foundation, we are thrilled to establish this new Center as a transdisciplinary hub for developing innovative solutions to complex sustainability problems. By integrating principles of environmental justice into our environmental, social and business sustainability research, we aim to create a more inclusive and equitable future, where the benefits of a sustainable society can be shared by all.”

The impact of grant, spanning three years (2024-26), will be felt broadly across many levels, from pre-college students to PhDs. Including:

· Up to 58 scholarships, over three summers, will be offered to pre-college scholars in the Stevens ACES program, beginning this summer;

· Twenty undergraduate students will receive support to engage in meaningful research starting their sophomore year, working closely with faculty mentors on interdisciplinary projects with a focus on sustainability and environmental justice;

· Four doctoral scholarships will also be provided for research that addresses sustainable environmental and energy challenges faced by overburdened communities, with an emphasis on including students from underserved backgrounds.

Officials say the gift reflects a mutual dedication to environmental stewardship and sustainability.

The longstanding relationship between Stevens and PSEG began in 2003 with a gift from the foundation to create the Center for Innovation in Engineering and Science Education. Since then, PSEG has provided Stevens with over $4.8 million in grants, including this new grant and $1.2 million in the last three years for programs that have impacted nearly 200 students with scholarships for 10 undergraduate and 60 pre-college students, six awards for the university and acknowledgment in 48 publications.

Rick Thigpen, PSEG senior vice president, corporate citizenship, said the partnership has been powerful.

“We’re proud to support a center that will help build our next generation of leaders to focus on sustainability, which aligns with the PSEG vision of powering a future where people use less energy, and it’s cleaner, safer and delivered more reliably than ever,” he said. “Opening opportunities to more New Jersey students and strengthening our pipeline of future workers are critical components of a thoughtful energy transition.

“I’m eager to see the results that come from the exciting work on sustainability that the faculty and students at this new center will be focused on.”

Zeeshan Sheikh, PSEG senior vice president, chief information and digital officer, and a member of the Stevens President’s Leadership Council, agreed.

“Supporting and encouraging partnerships that build a clean energy future is one of our priorities and this new grant builds upon the many successes the PSEG Foundation and Stevens have had,” he said. “Stevens’ excellence in advancing technological progress and its commitment to ensuring New Jersey communities are incorporated into research and other student opportunities make it an important collaborator in this mission.”

Stevens President Nariman Farvardin said the big-picture potential of the gift cannot be overlooked.

“This is more than a financial contribution; it is an investment in our shared vision for a sustainable future,” he said. “The programs funded by this grant promise to enrich the academic journey of our students and empower them to tackle the pressing environmental issues of our time.”

Ed Synakowski, Stevens VP for research and innovation, agreed.

“Stevens faculty and leadership are committed to research with impact and purpose,” he said. “This extraordinary grant is precisely aligned with this commitment. It will allow us to redouble our efforts in this highly impactful realm of energy and sustainability, one of the six foundational research pillars at Stevens.”