About Us

The University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering has been a pioneer in the field of sustainability since the establishment of its cutting-edge green construction program in 1999. Today, the School’s research and education programs in sustainability are spearheaded by the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation (MCSI), a center of excellence in sustainable engineering focusing on the design of sustainable neighborhoods.  

Established in 2003, the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation promotes the incorporation of sustainable engineering concepts and practices through the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering.  Its mission is to create and nurture innovations that benefit the environment, positively impact the University and community-at-large and improve quality of life.  MCSI has a holistic approach to sustainability.  Through the integration of curriculum, groundbreaking research and social engagement, the Center engages students, faculty and staff as well as everyday citizens to explore and experience sustainability in practice and performance. 

The Mascaro Center was created primarily through the generosity of the following key donors.

John C. Mascaro

John C. Mascaro is the founder and chair of Mascaro Construction, one of the largest general contracting and construction management firms in the nation. He earned his BS and MS degrees in civil engineering from Pitt’s Swanson School of Engineering in 1966 and 1980, respectively.  Under Mascaro’s leadership, Mascaro Construction is at the forefront of green construction and is currently ranked a Top Green Contractor by Engineering News-Record.  Mascaro has received many awards for his professional accomplishments and has been honored by the University as a Distinguished Alumnus in the Swanson School and its Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. He also was named to the Swanson School of Engineering Hall of Fame.  Mascaro has served in various positions with numerous professional and civic organizations, including director and president of the Master Builders Association of Western Pennsylvania and founding benefactor of the National Aviary. His volunteer work for the University includes chairing the Construction Management Industry Advisory Board and serving as a member of the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation Advisory Board.  His gifts to establish the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, the John C. Mascaro Learning Center, and the Peter J. Mascaro Endowed Fund in the Construction Management Program have been critical to strengthening the Swanson School of Engineering.

The Heinz Endowments

The Heinz Endowments is a regional foundation formed from the Howard Heinz Endowment, established in 1941, and the Vira I. Heinz Endowment, established in 1986. It is the product of a deep family commitment to community and the common good that began with H. J. Heinz, and which continues to this day.  The Endowments is based in Pittsburgh.  Although the majority of their giving is concentrated within southwestern Pennsylvania, they work wherever necessary, including statewide and nationally, to fulfill their mission.  That mission is to help the region thrive as a whole community — economically, ecologically, educationally and culturally — while advancing the state of knowledge and practice in the fields in which they work. Their fields of emphasis include philanthropy in general and the disciplines represented by their five grant-making programs: Arts & Culture; Children, Youth & Families; Education; Environment; and Innovation Economy. 

George M. Bevier

After graduating from the University of Pittsburgh in 1913, Mr. Bevier served with the Pennsylvania State Geological Survey for two years. During World War I he joined a group of geologists exploring Costa Rica and Panama for the Sinclair Oil Corporation. He later worked in the Lubrication Branch of the Department of Military Aeronautics in Washington, D.C. From 1919 to 1924, Mr. Bevier was District Geologist for the Atlantic Refining Company in the Gulf Coast area of Texas and Louisiana. It was during this period that he invented the seismograph detector and, in 1924, engaged in experimental refraction work for the Atlantic Refining Company in Mexico. From 1926 to 1930 he was the Gulf Coast District Geologist and Geophysicist for the Pure Oil Company and succeeded in finding various oil fields by combining the methods of geology and geophysics. In 1930, Mr. Bevier left the Pure Oil Company to become an independent geologist. With confidence in his own methods and the courage to prospect where others had found no promise of oil, he located the main producing area of the Conroe oil field in Montgomery County, Texas, one of the leading fields of that state and one of the giant oil and gas fields of the nation. Through their tremendous generosity, the Bevier family has created a legacy for generations of students at the Swanson School of Engineering. With his first gift in 1931, Dr. George Bevier laid the ground work for a long relationship and lasting impact on the School. His gift in 1954 led to the construction of the first and only engineering library on campus. Upon his passing, Mrs. Bevier continued the tradition of her husband’s generosity by making a gift to support the move and technological upgrade of the Bevier Engineering Library. After Mrs. Bevier’s passing, the University was gifted $10.5 million dollars from the Estate of George Means and Eva Bevier. This fund currently supports the Bevier Engineering Library, the Bioengineering Program, Computational Optimization and Intelligent Information Systems, and the Bevier Fellowship program.  Bevier Fellowships are provided to graduate students performing research in three critical areas such as Energy, Sustainability and Bioengineering.

If you would like to make a gift to support the research, education and outreach programs housed within the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation, please contact Gena Kovalcik at 412-624-9698 /
gmk9@pitt.edu or go to www.giveto.pitt.edu.


Mascaro Center

Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation
University of Pittsburgh
Swanson School of Engineering
153 Benedum Hall
Pittsburgh, PA 15261


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