Alexander Dale

BS, Engineering Physics 2009

PhD, Civil and Environmental Engineering 2013


From 2013-2015 I was the Executive Director for Engineers for a Sustainable World, and also taught two courses a year at Pitt -ENGR 1060 on Social Entrepreneurship, and one through the Honors College on Energy, Society, and Science Communication.

Starting September 2015, I transitioned to a Board Membership at ESW, and started a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellowship, hosted by the EPA's Office of Transportation & Air Quality in their Transportation & Climate Division. I did a lot of work on biofuels and life-cycle assessment, but also helped with analyses of electric vehicles, pipelines, CO2 sequestration, and future policy schemes for decarbonizing transportation in the US.

Since January 2017, I've been at Solve, an initiative of MIT focused on tackling global social & environmental challenges by finding innovators from around the world and connecting them to people who can help their work scale up. I lead the sustainability work, which includes all of our challenges on food, water, energy, and climate –we have other verticals around health, learning, and economic prosperity. Solve has only really been around since late 2016, so I've been part of the core team that's built it up to a thriving global community with 99 selected Solver teams and 100+ member organizations.

MCSI gave me an interdisciplinary education in technical sustainability, paired with opportunities for communication and outreach. The skills involved in all of those have been key in my career, as none of my jobs has been particularly tied to specific disciplines, and more often involve me acting as a translator (of sorts) between technical people or information and business or policy folks. I don't think many other programs would have prepared me as well for jumping between some of these different hats, even within specific jobs. I also have a great appreciation for the IGERT Fellowship which taught me some Portuguese and sent me to Brazil in 2012. I learned a lot on the trip, published an interesting paper, but it's also been a great extra skillset -I lead a bunch of our work with Brazilian organizations at Solve, and have been able to run more effective workshops as a result of basic proficiency with Portuguese. 

It is great to watch MCSI grow into a bigger part of Pitt's success story, particularly as more jobs require interdisciplinary knowledge and sustainability awareness.


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