The Water Energy Nexus (WEN) Interdisciplinary Research Theme (IRT) was created in 2017 and is directed by Karl Linden the Mortenson Professor in Sustainable Development and Professor of Environmental Engineering at CU Boulder. Read the 2018 PDF report on the IRT's accomplishments.


  • Bring together researchers from different disciplines to address the pressing challenges surrounding water, energy and associated systems (such as food, land, air quality and climate);
  • Provide leadership and support for stakeholders to build upon each other’s strengths to achieve major accomplishments beyond individual successes;
  • Foster interdisciplinary collaboration on large scale water-energy research projects to raise visibility and strengthen our leadership and accelerate our societal impact;
  • Develop a unique interdisciplinary training program for engineering students to enable them to become future leaders.


  • Administration of seed grant funds ($5,000-$20,000/grant);
  • Coordination of workshops and seminars;
  • Development of large scale research proposals;
  • Liason with relevant government agencies;
  • Faculty line in interdisciplinary areas.