Emily A. Carter

Emily A. Carter - headshot
Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment
Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment, and Applied and Computational Mathematics
Ph.D, California Institute of Technology, 1987
B.S., University of California, Berkeley, 1982

Faculty Assistant

Melissa Nini

Research Areas

Short Bio

Emily A. Carter returned to Princeton in January 2022 again as the Gerhard R. Andlinger Professor in Energy and the Environment and a professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering (MAE), the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment (ACEE), and Applied and Computational Mathematics. She also began her role as inaugural Senior Strategic Advisor for Sustainability Science at the Princeton Plasma Physics Laboratory, where she will work to diversify the lab’s portfolio into sustainable energy, carbon management, and geoengineering. After spending the first 16 years of her academic career as a professor of chemistry at UCLA, she joined Princeton in 2004 as a senior faculty member in MAE and the Program in Applied and Computational Mathematics. She built a large research group continuously supported by various arms of the Department of Defense (DOD) and the Department of Energy (DOE), as well as the National Science Foundation. While welcoming postdocs from all over the world and undergraduates from multiple science and engineering departments to join her research team, she trained a diverse generation of Princeton graduate students who earned Ph.D.s from six different disciplines.  After an international search, she was selected to be the Founding Director of ACEE. From 2010 to 2016, she oversaw the construction of its award-winning building and state-of-the-art facilities, the development of its education and research programs, and the hiring of its original staff and first eight faculty members. Then, after a national search, she was selected to serve as Princeton’s Dean of Engineering and Applied Science. During her tenure leading SEAS (2016-2019), she spearheaded major research (in bioengineering, data science, robotics, smart and resilient cities), education (e.g., new first-year engineering exposure to increase student retention), outreach (e.g., revamped marketing and communications), and diversity (e.g., inaugural associate dean for diversity and inclusion) initiatives, as well as securing a commitment to grow SEAS by 50%.  Most recently, she served as UCLA’s Executive Vice Chancellor and Provost (EVCP) and Distinguished Professor of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. During her two and one-third years tenure as EVCP (2019-2021), she co-led UCLA through myriad crises including the COVID-19 pandemic and brought transformative change via new initiatives that support graduate students, diversity across the career arc, professional development, institutional effectiveness, DataX research and education, education innovation, flexible work, and more. Upon her departure, UCLA appointed her Distinguished Professor Emerita of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. She returns to Princeton now with a sense that it is now or never to advance climate change mitigation. Her current research, supported by the DOE and the DOD, develops and applies quantum mechanical simulation techniques to enable discovery and design of molecules and materials for sustainable energy and carbon dioxide utilization. The author of over 440 publications and patents, she has delivered over 570 invited and plenary lectures worldwide and has served on advisory boards spanning a wide range of disciplines. She is the recipient of numerous honors, including election to the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the U.S. National Academy of Inventors, the U.S. National Academy of Engineering, and the European Academy of Sciences.


Selected Publications

A. G. Rajan, J. M. P. Martirez, and E. A. Carter, “Coupled Effects of Temperature, Pressure, and pH on Water Oxidation Thermodynamics and Kinetics,” ACS Catal., 11, 11305 (2021). doi: 10.1021/acscatal.1c02428

R. B. Wexler, G. S. Gautam, E. B. Stechel, and E. A. Carter, “Factors Governing Oxygen Vacancy Formation in Oxide Perovskites,” J. Am. Chem. Soc., 143, 13212 (2021). doi: 10.1021/jacs.1c05570

J. M. P. Martirez and E. A. Carter, “Metal-to-Ligand Charge-Transfer Spectrum of a Ru-Bipyridine-Sensitized TiO2 Cluster from Embedded Multiconfigurational Excited-State Theory,” J. Phys. Chem. A, 125, 4998 (2021). (Virtual Special Issue on “125 Years of The Journal of Physical Chemistry”) doi: 10.1021/acs.jpca.1c02628

Q. Zhao, J. M. P. Martirez, and E. A. Carter, “Revisiting Understanding of Electrochemical CO2 Reduction on Cu(111): Competing Proton-Coupled Electron Transfer Reaction Mechanisms Revealed by Embedded Correlated Wavefunction Theory,” J. Am. Chem. Soc., 143, 6152 (2021). doi: 10.1021/jacs.1c00880

J. M. P. Martirez, J. L. Bao, and E. A. Carter, “First-Principles Insights into Plasmon-Induced Catalysis,” Annu. Rev. Phys. Chem., 72, 99 (2021). doi: 10.1146/annurev-physchem-061020-053501