Center for Environmental Science Applications (CESA)

Finding solutions to sustainability challenges by linking ideas, people and resources


For the past two decades, ASU researchers have incorporated the latest technologies into environmental problem-solving, combining an interdisciplinary systems approach with leverage of federal and industry funding. Beginning with two wireless consortia in the 1990s, these efforts have expanded to sensor and biofuels work based in the Biodesign Institute, a broad set of solar applications, and urban heat island research.
ASU was the first university to frame its solar expertise as an end-to-end package that included the work of material scientists, electrical and mechanical engineers, architects, chemists, geographers, and specialists in real estate development, public policy and marketing. This comprehensive presentation of its technological spectrum helped ASU establish a major research partnership with BP Solar in 2007 and was a key factor in Suntech Power's decision in 2009 to locate their first U.S. manufacturing facility in Metro Phoenix.
CESA is now promoting a similar approach to novel rapid transit systems, the monitoring of natural hazards, and public safety in cities. The Variable Atmosphere Lab initiative also has the potential of spinning off dozens of new technologies related to sensors, lighting, and environmental controls.



Suntech Power
BP Solar
TUV Rheinland-PTL

NASA Ames Research Center
Unimodal Inc.
Maricopa Association of Government

U.S. Geological Survey Volcano Hazards Program

San Francisco Police Department
East Valley Fusion Center
GeoDa Center for Geospatial Analysis and Computation