Lynn Loo takes leave to lead global center for decarbonizing shipping

Monday, Aug 16, 2021
by Molly Seltzer, for the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment

Lynn Loo, the Theodora D. ’78 and William H. Walton III ’74 Professor in Engineering and professor of chemical and biological engineering, has taken a two-year leave from the University and stepped down as director of the Andlinger Center for Energy and the Environment to join the newly founded Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation, based in Singapore, as its first chief executive officer.

Loo sharpened the Andlinger Center’s focus on energy systems research and deepened engagement with people and companies outside of academia to solve energy and environmental problems across sectors. Now, she will work on testing and implementing energy technologies to reduce emissions in the shipping sector, collaborating with maritime stakeholders and research centers across the world in technology and research pilot projects.

In spring of 2020, Loo began a sabbatical in Singapore during which period she sat on the International Advisory Panel (IAP) for Maritime Decarbonisation to evaluate how the shipping sector could lower its emissions. The establishment of a global decarbonization center was first announced in April 2020 as one of the recommendations in the IAP’s report to the Singapore government. After a global search, the founding partners selected Loo to lead it. The new Global Centre for Maritime Decarbonisation will complement existing organizations in this space by facilitating decarbonization technology development and test-bedding, including future marine fuel trials with the industry and research communities in Singapore. Loo will develop a strategic plan for the organization, and implement it, much like she did for the Andlinger Center.

Loo runs the organic and polymer electronics laboratory at Princeton, and is working to develop a transparent solar cell to place over and provide onboard power to operate smart windows. She is cofounder of the startup Andluca Technologies that seeks to commercialize the technology.

“Lynn Loo’s outstanding research and civic engagement have made her an internationally respected scientific leader on issues of climate change,” said Princeton University President Christopher L. Eisgruber. “I am grateful for her service to Princeton, and I am confident that she will represent the University superbly in her new role."

One outcome of Loo's investment in energy systems research, as Andlinger Center director, was the publication of a groundbreaking study from Princeton: Net-Zero America (NZA), which lays out five technological pathways to achieving net-zero emissions in the United States by 2050. Acclaimed as one of the most comprehensive and granular analyses of the economic, environmental and labor impacts of a clean energy transition in the United States to date, the report has been a resource for the Biden administration and other academic institutions around the world, which have since adopted the NZA methodology to do accompanying studies for other countries.