Neha Agarwal

HMEI-STEP Fellow 2024
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Neha is an aspiring 'urban engineer' pursuing a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering with the Urban Nexus Lab led by Professor Anu Ramaswami. Through her research, she wants to help an urbanizing India create resource-efficient, climate-responsive, and just urban systems. She is particularly interested in exploring the opportunities that approaches like resource circularity and decentralization accord for improving water and waste systems at the urban-regional scale. Utilizing methods such as nexus modeling to investigate resource and emissions footprints, she hopes to discover insights for improved system design and the attendant governing environmental policy. Besides her research, she is also involved with the Metropolis Initiative and the TigerWell Initiative, and serves as the Vice President of the International Water Association's Young Water Professionals India chapter.

Before coming to Princeton, Neha worked as a Research Associate with the Centre for Policy Research (CPR), India. At CPR, she researched decentralized approaches to urban and rural sanitation at the intersection of engineering and public policy. As part of her work, she collaborated with state and local governments, national regulators, and industry to find new ways to improve praxis. For example, she worked with the Bureau of Indian Standards to draft technical standards for rotomolded septic tanks and packaged small-scale wastewater treatment plants. She holds a Master of Technology in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay.

HMEI-STEP Topic: When Local Governments Work: Identifying Institutional and Individual Levers for Enhancing Local Government Capacities to Implement Infrastructure Transitions in India

HMEI-STEP Advisers: Elke Weber, Ben Bradlow

Thesis Topic: Methods for Advancing Zero-Carbon Metropolitan Regions in India with Resource Sustainability Co-benefits

Thesis Adviser: Anu Ramaswami