Funded Research

The Mascaro Center supports an annual seed grant program aimed at engaging a core team of researchers who are passionate about sustainability. Seed grants support graduate student and post-doctoral fellows on one-year research projects.

2022 Research Funding Programs
The Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation is pleased to announce five grant initiatives designed to help Pitt faculty and students engage in sustainability research, education, and outreach. See summaries below with links to the full applications and program RFPs.

Due Date Funding Decisions Expenditures
Research Seed Grants in Sustainability February 25, 2022 March 25, 2022 By June 30, 2023
John C. Mascaro Faculty Programs in Sustainability February 15, 2022 March 22, 2022 By June 30, 2023
Global Engagement Sustainability Grants February 19, 2022 March 22, 2022 Spring 2023
Sustainability Student Prototyping Grants Rolling (Monthly Review) Rolling (Monthly Review) By June 30, 2023

Complete Listing of Awards from 2004-2021:

2020-2021 Awards

A Circular Chemical Industry: Closing the Anthropogenic Carbon Cycle with Biomimetic Reactors
James McKoneChemical and Petroleum Engineering

Mapping the Landscape of Seafood in Pittsburgh Markets: Do Safe, Sustainable and Accessible Meet?
Carla NgCivil & Environmental Engineering 

Optimization of Traffic Signals on Pitt's Campus Road Network to Reduce Fuel Consumption and Green House Gas Emissions from Vehicular Traffic 
Aleksandar Stevanovic
, Civil & Environmental Engineering

Up-Cycling of Machining Scrap via Mechano-Chemical Attrition Enhanced Hydride-Dehydride Processing for Sustainable Ti-Powder Fabrication
Jorg WiezorekMechanical Engineering & Materials Science
Ravi ShankarIndustrial Engineering

2019-2020 Awards

Towards Using Microbes for Sustainable Construction Materials: Feasibility Study
Sarah Haig,
 Civil & Environmental Engineering
Steven Sachs,
 Civil & Environmental Engineering
**Jointly funded by MCSI and IRISE

Chemical Recycling of Polyethylene to Ethylene
Eric Beckman,
 Chemical & Petroleum Engineering
Ioannis Bourmpakis,
 Chemical & Petroleum Engineering
Robert Enick,
 Chemical & Petroleum Engineering
Goetz Veser,
 Chemical & Petroleum Engineering

Investigating Flexible Piezoelectric Materials with Lower Water Pressures
Katherine Hornbostel,
 Mechanical Engineering & Materials Science

Amplifying the Efficiency of Tungsten Disulfide Thermoelectric Devices
Feng Xiong
Electrical & Computer Engineering

2018-2019 Awards

Computational Methods to Design Efficient and Sustainable Chemical Catalysis
Peng Liu
, Chemistry

Case Study of the Application of a Novel Integrated Thermoelectric Device Applied to the Waste Heat Recovery of Fleet Vehicles
Matthew Barry, Mechanical Engineering & Materials Sciences
Shervin Sammak, Mechanical Engineering & Materials Sciences

Life Cycle Assessment Integration for High-Performance Building Design
Melissa Bilec, Civil & Environmental Engineering

The Local Cost of Abandoned Oil and Gas Wells
Jeremy Weber,  Graduate School of Public and International Affairs
Dan Bain, Geology

Enable Data-Driven Quantitative Assessment of Building Resilience and Sustainability with Self-Powered Sensors
Hao Sun, Civil and Environmental Engineering
Jingtong Hu, Electrical and Computer Engineering

2017-2018 Awards

Protein lithography: a sustainable technology for sub-5-nm nanomanufacturing
Mostafa Bedewy,
 Industrial Engineering

High efficiency refrigeration and cooling through additive manufactured magnetocaloric devices
Markus Chmielus,
 Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science

Toward machine learning blueprints for greener chelants
John Keith
 Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

H2P: HydoPonics to Pyrolysis: An enclosed system for the phytoremediation and destruction of perfectly persistent emerging contaminants in our water
David Sanchez,
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Carla Ng,
Civil and Environmental Engineering

2016-2017 Awards

Student-based observations of soil moisture to quantify dynamics at the intersection of natural and built environments
Brian Thomas,
 Geology & Environmental Science
Daniel Bain
 Geology & Environmental Science
Emily Elliott,
 Geology & Environmental Science
David Sanchez,
Civil and Environmental Engineering

Learning about sustainability: social learning via solar panel adoption
Andrea La Nauze
, Economics
Graham Beattie

A novel process for efficient, decentralized ammonia synthesis: towards fertilizer production with drastically reduced environmental footprint
Goetz Veser, Chemical Engineering

β- Ga2O3 Nanoelectronics: A Path to a Sustainable Semiconductor Technology for High Efficiency Electricity Conversion from Renewables
William Stanchina
, Electrical Engineering

Desalination of sequestration and release of water in poly crystals
Sachin Velankar
 Chemical and Petroleum Engineering

Pollination in the city: Designing urban pollinator gardens that are resilient to air pollution
Tia-Lynn Ashman
, Biological Sciences

2015-2016 Awards

Green Infrastructure Implementation Deepening Interdisciplinary at the University of Pittsburgh
Michael Blackhurst
University Center for Social and Urban Research
Randy Walsh,

Quantifying Reductions in Diesel-Related Air Pollution Exposures across Downtown Pittsburgh
Jane Clougherty
Graduate School of Public health
Emily Elliott
Geology & Environmental Science

Developing CrAssphage as a marker of human fecal pollution in the environment
Kyle Bibby, civil and environmental engineering

Indoor air impacts and Pittsburgh 2030 energy district
Melissa Bilec, civil and environmental engineering

SHIELD: Sustainable, Holistic infrastructure for enabling life-cycle-aware datacenters
Alex Jones,electrical and computer engineering

Managing the Water-Energy Nexus for Shale Gas Production-connecting life cycle assessment with process systems engineering
Vikas Khanna, civil and environmental engineering

Measuring the Effect of Grid Voltage on Building Energy Labs
Thomas McDermott, electrical and computer engineering


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