Pitt | Swanson Engineering

A bachelors in Civil Engineering is one of the top five in-demand bachelor's degrees according to the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Spring 2008 Salary Survey, with starting salaries almost at the top of that list. Employment growth for civil engineers is expected to move at a pace that is faster than the average for all occupations.

The University of Pittsburgh has a proud tradition in civil engineering education, reinforced by a faculty deeply concerned about their students. Graduates from the Department of Civil Engineering have become leaders in their profession, serving with government, private consulting firms and contractors and in research and academic institutions.

Civil engineers at Pitt have the opportunity to engage in undergraduate and graduate programs in a broad range of topics, including structures, environmental, water resources, green construction, geotechnical engineering and construction management. Other electives include  applied mechanics and mathematics, legal issues, and computer aided design.

The department accomplished faculty, top-notch educational and research facilities and partnerships with industry provide the necessary edge for our graduates to discover satisfying careers meeting the challenges of the 21st century. The emphasis is to provide an education that focuses on engineering and construction for sustainable development, leaving the next generations with a society that continues to offer a high quality of life.




May
15
2015

Civil Engineering alumnus Jack Mascaro receives Pitt's Distinguished Alumni Fellow Award

All SSoE News, Civil & Environmental

UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH NEWS RELEASE PITTSBURGH (May 15, 2015) ... The University of Pittsburgh has named its 2015 Distinguished Alumni Fellow Award recipients: Eva Tansky Blum, chairperson-elect of Pitt's Board of Trustees and retired executive vice president and director of community affairs for PNC Bank , and John C. Mascaro, founder and chair of the Mascaro Construction Company . The Distinguished Alumni Fellow Award is the premier alumni honor awarded by the University of Pittsburgh. The accolade, which recognizes Pitt graduates with extraordinary records of professional achievement and community service, will be bestowed upon Blum and Mascaro by Pitt Chancellor Patrick Gallagher at the University's 2015 Alumni Awards Gala at 6:30 p.m. May 15 in the J.W. Connolly Ballroom in Alumni Hall, 4227 Fifth Ave., Oakland. Media are welcome to attend the by-invitation-only affair. During the evening's festivities, additional notable Pitt alumni will be lauded for their ongoing service to the University and broader community. Janice M. Holder, the first female chief justice of the Tennessee Supreme Court, will be honored with the Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences Distinguished Alumni Award. Thomas G. Bigley, retired managing partner for Ernst & Young Global Limited, will be honored with the 'ROC' Spirit Award, which recognizes outstanding displays of enthusiasm, loyalty, pride, and spirit in support of Pitt. The late Neil H. Alexander, founder of the Live Like Lou Center for ALS Research at the University of Pittsburgh Brain Institute, will be honored posthumously with the Bill Baierl Distinguished Alumni Service Award. Stuart W. Benson III, a partner with the firm Dapper, Baldasare, Benson, Behling & Kane, P.C., and Valerie Thomas-Njie, executive director and vice president of the Bidwell Training Center, will be honored with the Volunteer Excellence Award. Nicholas J. Burdette, a project engineer with HDR, Inc., will be honored with the Ivan and Mary Novick Award for Young Alumni Leadership. Eva Tansky Blum held numerous executive-level leadership positions during her career at PNC that spanned more than 35 years. In addition to her role as executive vice president at the time of her retirement in March 2014, she served as the chairperson and president for the PNC Foundation, where she directed the organization's philanthropic programs. Through the PNC Foundation, Blum established and oversaw PNC's Grow Up Great, a highly successful program dedicated to improving early childhood education. Blum joined PNC in 1977 after practicing law at the U.S. Department of Commerce and USAir A Pitt trustee since 2004, Blum will assume the role of board chairperson in June 2015. She is a past president of the Pitt Alumni Association and currently serves as chair of the Board of Visitors for Pitt's Graduate School of Public Health. In 2014, Blum led Pitt's Chancellor Search Committee. With her brother, fellow Pitt alumnus Burton M. Tansky, Blum served as cochair of Pitt's $2 billion "Building Our Future Together" capital campaign. She and her brother also established the Tansky Family Fund in the Department of Neurology, which supports both the department and the Alzheimer Disease Research Center. Additionally, along with their late sister, Shirley Gordon, Blum and Tansky made a gift to Pitt that was recognized by naming the Tansky Family Lounge in the William Pitt Union in tribute to their parents, Harry and Jeanette Tansky. In 2012, Blum was among a select group of notable alumni presented with Pitt's 225th Anniversary Medallion, which recognized graduates whose achievements have brought honor to Pitt and whose efforts have contributed to the University's progress. She also has been designated a Distinguished Alumnus by the University of Pittsburgh School of Law and was granted Pitt's Volunteer Excellence Award. In addition to her Pitt-related accolades, Blum was named a Distinguished Daughter of Pennsylvania in 2009. She also has been honored with the Women of Spirit Award from Carlow University, the Tree of Life Award from the Jewish National Fund, and the Allerton Award for Lifetime Achievement from the YWCA of Greater Pittsburgh. Blum has been a member of both the Pennsylvania and Allegheny County bar associations. She has served on the Board of Directors for the Business Civic Leadership Center, the Advisory Board of the Carnegie Science Center, and the Board of Trustees for the Jewish Healthcare Foundation. Blum earned her Bachelor of Arts in political science at Pitt's Kenneth P. Dietrich School of Arts and Sciences in 1970 and her Juris Doctor at Pitt's School of Law in 1973. John C. Mascaro's professional accomplishments and civic engagements have made him a key figure in Southwestern Pennsylvania's engineering and construction industries for nearly 50 years. He is the founder of the Mascaro Construction Company, L.P., one of the largest construction contracting management firms in Southwestern Pennsylvania. Now semi-retired, Mascaro continues to serve as chairperson for the firm. Notable local projects completed by Mascaro Construction include the construction of Heinz Field, Theater Square, the Children's Museum of Pittsburgh, the corporate headquarters of Dick's Sporting Goods, and the Southwestern Pennsylvania World War II Memorial. Mascaro Construction has been lauded locally and nationally for its dedication to professional excellence, including such recent honors as an American Business Ethics Award from the Foundation for Financial Service Professionals as well as an Honor Award from the Pittsburgh chapter of the American Institute of Architects. In support of ongoing research efforts towards sustainable engineering and construction practices by Pitt's Swanson School of Engineering, Mascaro established Pitt's Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation , the John C. Mascaro Learning Center, and the Peter J. Mascaro Endowed Fund. In 2009, Mascaro funded the high-tech facility at Benedum Hall that houses the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation as well as the University's research and education programs in sustainable engineering. In recognition of his lasting impact on the traditions and values of the University of Pittsburgh, Mascaro was honored with the Chancellor's Medal in 2013. In 2010, he was named a University of Pittsburgh Legacy Laureate, which honors Pitt alumni for their outstanding professional and personal accomplishments. Mascaro is listed in the Swanson School of Engineering's Hall of Fame, and he was named a Swanson School Distinguished Alumnus-the school's highest honor-in 2004. In addition to his Pitt-related accolades, Mascaro was granted the Special Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Fundraising Professionals in 2011. In recent years, he also has received the Service to Humanity Award from the Pennsylvania Chapter of the March of Dimes, the William Metcalf Lifetime Achievement Award from the Engineers' Society of Western Pennsylvania , and the Pittsburgh Civil Engineer of the Year Award from the Pittsburgh section of the American Society of Civil Engineers . Throughout his career, Mascaro has held leadership positions within various professional and civic organizations. He has served as director and president of the Master Builders Association of Western Pennsylvania as well as a founding benefactor of the National Aviary. For Pitt, he has chaired the advisory boards for both the Swanson School's Construction Management Industry and the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation. Mascaro earned his Bachelor of Science in civil engineering and Master of Science in civil engineering at Pitt's Swanson School in 1966 and 1980, respectively. ###
Anthony M. Moore
Apr
15
2015

Pitt and Carnegie Mellon prepare for opening of sixth biennual Engineering Sustainability Conference

All SSoE News, Civil & Environmental

PITTSBURGH (April 15, 2015) … Organizers from the University of Pittsburgh's Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation and Carnegie Mellon University's Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research are readying for one of Pittsburgh's signature sustainability events. " Engineering Sustainability 2015: Innovation and the Triple Bottom Line " will be held April 19-21 at the David L. Lawrence Convention Center and will feature engineers and scientists from academia, government, industry and nonprofit sectors sharing cutting-edge research and practices directed at development of environmentally sustainable buildings and infrastructure. "The built environment, which includes buildings, the transportation grid, and water collection and treatment systems, helps to sustain our economy and way of life, but at the cost of heavy resource use and waste generation," noted Eric Beckman, PhD, Co-Director of MCSI. "We're witnessing this now in Pittsburgh, where Alcosan is developing a $2 billion Wet Weather Plan as part of a federal mandate to address sewer overflow in a decades-old system by 2026, as well as in California, where they are on the verge of a megadrought that could last decades." "Solving these problems won't be simple or affordable, which is why the Engineering Sustainability Conference brings together researchers who are addressing these problems which affect cities and towns across the U.S.," explained Neil Donahue, PhD, Director of the Steinbrenner Institute. "Over the past ten years CMU and Pitt have brought together some of the world's best sustainability thinkers to continue this dialogue and search for solutions." The Engineering Conference is sponsored in part by Mascaro Construction Company LP, Eaton, Master Builders' Association of Western Pennsylvania Inc., PNC Bank, UPMC, and PPG. Partners include the Green Building Alliance, Sustainable Pittsburgh, Engineers' Society of Western PA, Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and PGH Green Innovators. For more information and to register visit engineering.pitt.edu/mcsi.   This year's plenary speakers include: Shahzeen Attari Assistant Professor, School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Indiana University "Water Use: Effective Actions, Perceptions and System Thinking " Shahzeen Attari's research focuses on the interactions between natural and social systems, particularly human behavior and climate change. Her current work investigates effects of real-time energy feedback, how to use games for research and learning, and factors that motivate action in social dilemmas, and her previous work investigated preferences for behavior change and perceptions of energy consumption. Previously, she was a postdoctoral fellow at The Earth Institute and CRED at Columbia University.  She holds a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon University, and a Bachelor's of Science in Engineering Physics from The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.   Christopher Flavin Senior Fellow and President Emeritus of the Worldwatch Institute  "Building a Sustainable Future: The Road to Low Carbon Energy" Christopher Flavin is a well-known expert on strategies for transforming energy systems to reduce dependence on fossil fuels and power a low-carbon future.  He advises governments, businesses, and international financial institutions, and lectures widely around the world. Mr. Flavin has authored three books: "Power Surge: Guide to the Coming Energy Revolution," "Running on Empty: the Future of the Automobile," and "Renewable Energy: the Power to Choose."  He has also published scores of articles for popular and scholarly publications. He is a founding member of the Board of Directors of the Business Council for Sustainable Energy and serves on the Advisory Boards of the American Council on Renewable Energy and the Environmental and Energy Study Institute.  He holds a cum laude degree in economics and biology from Williams College.   Richard Luthy Silas H. Palmer Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University and Senior Fellow in the Woods Institute for the Environment "Re-Inventing Urban Water Supplies in the Arid West" Dick Luthy is the Silas H. Palmer Professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University, and Senior Fellow in the Woods Institute for the Environment.  His area of teaching and research is environmental engineering and water quality.  He is also the Director of the National Science Foundation's Engineering Research Center for re-inventing the nation's urban water infrastructure (renewit.org) that promotes new strategies for urban water systems to achieve more sustainable solutions to urban water challenges, especially in regions experiencing chronic water shortages and vulnerabilities to cycles of very low precipitation like the American west and southwest.  In related work, his research investigates cost-effective and natural approaches for sediment restoration. Dr. Luthy is a past chair of the National Research Council's Water Science and Technology Board and he has served on various NRC committees. He is a former President of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors. He is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a registered professional engineer, a board certified environmental engineer, and Water Environment Federation Fellow. Joylette Portlock President, Communitopia " Communicating Climate Change with Humor"   Dr. Joylette Portlock is the President of Communitopia, a nonprofit based in Pittsburgh that focuses on climate change communication.  There, she stars in a series of funny, short web videos on climate change targeted to the general public, called " Don't Just Sit There- Do Something!"  Dr. Portlock studied biology at M.I.T. and completed a Ph.D. in genetics from Stanford University in 2006; she now works to give the public important scientific information it can use.  She has worked on environmental issues at the local, state, and federal level, and has been focused on global climate change since 2007.  Dr. Portlock is a HuffPost blogger and also currently serves on the Allegheny County Board of Health.   Invited Speakers Joule Bergerson Assistant Professor, Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering, University of Calgary   "Energy Systems Sustainable Analysis"  Matthew Eckelman   Assistant Professor, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering Northeastern University   "Modeling the Non-energy Benefits of Residential Energy Efficiency Measures"  Shelie Miller   Associate Professor, School of Natural Resources and the Environment University of Michigan   "A Proactive approach to Manage Unintended Consequences of Emerging Technologies" Sally Ng   Assistant Professor and Baldwin Junior Faculty Fellow, School of Chemical & Biomolecular Engineering Georgia Institute of Technology "Air Quality and Healthy: Does "Particulate Matter" matter?"     Kristen Parrish Assistant Professor, School of Sustainability and the Built Environment Arizona State University "Small Buildings, Big Impacts: Promoting Energy Efficiency in Small Commercial Building Through 2030 Districts"   Jordan Peccia Associate Professor, Chemical and Environmental Engineering Yale University "Engineering Healthy Buildings" Mike Stenstrom   Distinguished Professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering UCLA "Sustainable Water Supplies: Options for Better Stormwater Management" Ashlynn S. Stillwell  Assistant Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign "Water, Energy, and a Sustainable Future: An Interdisciplinary Approach"  
Paul Kovach
Mar
31
2015

2015 Shale Gas Innovation Contest names CivilE Chair Dr. Radisav Vidic as finalist

Civil & Environmental

STATE COLLEGE, PA - On May 12, 2015, the Shale Gas Innovation & Commercialization Center ( www.sgicc.org ) will announce the four winners of this year's Shale Gas Innovation Contest with each receiving a check for $25,000.  In addition to showcasing the 14 finalists, a session has been added this year that will help innovators learn how to successfully provide new products and services to the shale energy industry. The Finals Event & Innovation Workshop will be held from 10:00 AM to 5:00 PM on Tuesday, May 12, 2015 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Southpointe, PA. Attendees at this FREE EVENT will hear from Bill Hall, SGICC Director, followed by Katie Klaber, President of the Klaber Group on how grant funding provided by the PA Department of Community & Economic Development was used to accelerate efforts to commercialize new technologies for the Oil & Gas industry. This overview will be followed by two panels comprised of small companies that have successfully launched products/ services in to the industry or are in the demonstration phase. A free buffet lunch will be included. The afternoon will consist of the 14 finalist presentations and the announcement of the four Innovation Contest winners.  A networking reception will follow immediately with representatives from each of the finalists and panel companies available to highlight their shale gas innovation concepts.  Click on http://www.sgicc.org/2015-shale-gas-innovation-contest.html to register and to see a list of the finalists and exhibitors along with this year's sponsors. This year's Finalists are: 9three Solutions Inc.  Providing inline security devices connected via a centralized private cloud routing server enabling companies to secure various types of hardware including critical Industrial Control Systems Appalachian Drilling Services, Inc. Spill proof, skid mounted, rig friendly waste storage units specifically built to withstand life on drilling rigs and mitigate the chances of any type of spill EthosGen Offering a system that converts waste heat to electricity through a unique piston-based Organic-Rankine Cycle (ORC) scalable power solution available from 12-250kW Fairmont Brine Processing Evaporation and crystallization process that fully treats wastewater, extracting reusable byproducts as well as formulate fracture stimulation fluids specifically to an operating company's completion design Fiber Innovation Technologies, LLC Offering a paper mill by-product known as Short Paper Fiber for use as a solidification agent in drilling operations that has superior properties and a lower selling point over the current solidification agents FMW Rubber Products, Inc. Offering proven technologies used by the military to provide a portable water storage and distribution system utilizing reusable bladders up to 250,000 gallons each and mobile collapsible pipeline systems H Quest Vanguard Inc. Process that enables manufacturing of a synthetic crude oil through co-processing natural gas with a variety of hydrocarbons and biomass Halen Hardy,LLC GritGrab Anti-Slip Surfacing made of fiberglass reinforced plastic provides a surface that helps dramatically improve traction for workers' boots, eliminating costly slips and falls Identified Technologies Unmanned Aerial Vehicle and docking system that provides high-res optical, infrared, and gas-sniffing data that also autonomously swaps/charges batteries and uploads data to the cloud for access Next Gauge, Inc. Truck Driver Communication and Safety System (TDCS) is a web-based portal to extend and enhance safety, communications, and compliance of truck drivers serving shale energy sites Next Generation Filtration Systems, LP Provides a lubricating fluids purification system that removes particles and volatiles which keeps fluids like new for an almost limitless period of time Pix Controller Inc. Methane gas detection system that integrates a digital methane sensor with temperature and barometric pressure data and provides data access via a low power battery operated wireless monitoring backbone University of Pittsburgh (Radisav Vidic) Controlled mixing of mine drainage and flowback water to deliver desired quality mixture for use in the fracking process by lowering sulfates and salinity Well Control Technologies, Inc. Patented unmanned "Downhole Liquid Level Controller" system that improves proper well de-watering that significantly increasing yields from wells by eliminating fluid build-up This year's contest was co-sponsored by Ben Franklin Technology Partners ( http://www.benfranklin.org ), Aquatech ( www.Aquatech.com ), CONSOL Energy ( www.consolenergy.com ), Chevron ( http://www.chevron.com/ctv/ ), EQT ( www.eqt.com ), First National Bank ( www.fnb-online.com ), GE Oil & Gas ( http://www.ge-energy.com ), INABATA America ( http://us.inabata.com/ ), Little Pine Resources ( http://littlepineresources.com ), the Marcellus Shale Coalition ( http://marcelluscoalition.org ), PPG Industries ( www.ppg.com ) , Praxair ( www.praxair.com ), Range Resources ( www.rangeresources.com ), Shell ( www.shell.us ), Steptoe-Johnson ( www.steptoe-johnson.com ), Williams ( www.williamsinthenortheast.com ), and XTO Energy ( www.xtoenergy.com ). About the SGICC The Ben Franklin Shale Gas Innovation and Commercialization Center ( www.sgicc.org ) supports and commercializes early-stage technologies that enhance responsible stewardship of the environment while properly utilizing this energy asset.  ###  
Bill Hall, Director, Shale Gas Innovation & Commercialization Center
Mar
30
2015

Pitt designated an Innovation Corps Site by National Science Foundation

All SSoE News, Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Civil & Environmental, Electrical & Computer, Industrial, MEMS

UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH NEWS RELEASE PITTSBURGH- The National Science Foundation (NSF) has designated the University of Pittsburgh as an NSF I-Corps site. The award, which supports innovation activities at select academic institutions, comes with a three-year, $300,000 grant to be used to advance innovation, commercialization, and entrepreneurship at Pitt. The University's Innovation Institute will manage the Pitt I-Corps site. (The "I" in I-Corps stands for "Innovation.") Through the I-Corps grant, 30 Pitt Innovator teams per year will receive $3,000 to participate in the Institute's Pitt Ventures program, which provides Pitt teams with hands-on commercialization and entrepreneurial education activities in partnership with entrepreneurs-in-residence, investors, and local business mentors. Pitt Innovator teams may use the $3,000 stipends for market research, customer-discovery analyses, and other development efforts.  "We're honored to receive this prestigious NSF award to support our commercialization efforts," says Marc Malandro, founding director of the Innovation Institute and associate vice chancellor for technology management and commercialization at Pitt. "This award builds on our efforts to instill a culture of innovation and entrepreneurship across the entire University, bringing together more faculty, staff, and student innovators with educators, mentors, and other community partners to advance our commercialization activities." The Innovation Institute's goals for the I-Corps program are to accomplish the following: Increase the number of entrepreneurially minded faculty, staff, and students at Pitt through education, training, and outreach-particularly among innovators from diverse backgrounds and underrepresented academic disciplines. Enhance a recently deployed commercialization process at Pitt that includes experiential learning and customer-discovery support for Pitt Innovator teams. Improve Pitt's connection to-and support of-the Pittsburgh region's entrepreneurial ecosystem in nurturing startup companies emerging from University innovations. "Through support provided by the I-Corps program, the University of Pittsburgh now will be able to develop an even deeper pipeline of commercialization opportunities from a broader group of innovators, further enhancing our impact on regional and national economic development," Malandro says. The Innovation Institute , launched in November 2013, serves as the hub of innovation commercialization and entrepreneurship activities at the University of Pittsburgh.   ###
Joe Miksch
Mar
10
2015

Pitt scores in U.S. News Best Graduate Schools Guidebook

All SSoE News, Bioengineering, Chemical & Petroleum, Civil & Environmental, Electrical & Computer, Industrial, MEMS

UNIVERSITY OF PITTSBURGH NEWS RELEASE PITTSBURGH- In newly released statistics from U.S. News & World Report , a number of University of Pittsburgh schools and programs have excelled in the Best Graduate Schools 2016 guidebook. Pitt's School of Nursing is ranked no. 5 nationwide in an inaugural annual ranking of nursing schools that offer master's or doctorate programs. In nursing specialties, the school is no. 1 in the category of nurse anesthesia; no. 3 in clinical nurse leader; no. 3 in pediatric, primary care (tie); no. 5 in administration (tie); no. 5 in adult / gerontology, acute care (tie); and no. 5 in psychiatric / mental health, across the lifespan. Pitt's School of Medicine ranks no. 16 in the research category and no. 19 (tie) in the primary care category of the Best Medical Schools ranking. In medical specialties, Pitt is no. 4 in women's health. In new Health disciplines rankings, Pitt's master's and doctorate programs in public health in the Graduate School of Public Health are ranked no. 13, and the rehabilitation counseling program within the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences is no. 18 (tie). Among public universities, Pitt's graduate programs in education, engineering, and business are all ranked in the top 25. The School of Education is ranked no. 17 among public universities and no. 27 overall (tie); the Swanson School of Engineering is no. 24 among public universities and no. 43 overall (tie); and the Joseph M. Katz Graduate School of Business is No. 23 among public universities and No. 48 overall (tie). The School of Law advanced three spots to no. 78 overall (tie). It is ranked no. 42 among public universities. Individual departments within the Swanson School of Engineering ranked as follows: Bioengineering: 7 among publics, 16 overall (tie) Chemical and Petroleum: 24 among publics, 39 overall (tie) Civil Engineering: 35 among publics, 53 overall (tie) Computer Engineering: 30 among publics, 54 overall (tie) Electrical Engineering: 30 among publics, 52 overall (tie) Industrial Engineering: 15 among publics, 22 overall (tie) Materials Science: 35 among publics, 53 overall (tie)   ###  
Cara Masset

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