Carnegie Mellon University
April 12, 2017

Small Honored with 2017 Lazarus Award

Small Honored with 2017 Lazarus Award

Professor Mitch Small, the H.John Heinz, III Professor of  Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy, has been honored with the Carnegie Mellon 2017 Barbara Lazarus Award for Graduate and Junior Faculty Mentoring.

Small has been teaching at Carnegie Mellon University since 1982 and has been recognized for his teaching style, which includes showing students, in an engaging way, how quantitative analysis can bring deep insight and predictive ability in analysis of engineering problems, design, and policy formulation and analysis. Small equips students with quantitative tools in statistical modeling and process modeling that enables them to excel in practice, academia, and government.

“Mitch Small brings to his students and colleagues a unique combination of skills in probability, statistics, environmental engineering, and policy analysis, and his warm, compassionate and fun personality,” said Dave Dzombak, Hamerschlag University Professor and Head of CEE.   “His skills have of course been important in his work as a mentor to students and junior faculty, but  his ability to put people at ease, support them and give them confidence in themselves has been even more important.  The patience, wisdom, and selfless attitude that Mitch has displayed as a mentor makes him a model for all faculty members, and very deserving of the Lazarus Award recognition."

Small is widely recognized as a national leader in the development of integrated assessment for civil-environmental engineering decision-making. His path-breaking research, which has involved more than 50 graduate students pursuing MS and PhD degrees in CEE and EPP, has focused on building and applying models that link contaminant fate and transport, human behavior, exposure, and risk to inform engineering decisions as well as policy and regulation formation.

Small’s work has significantly advanced stochastic approaches in environmental engineering modeling, where the need is great because of the variability in the natural and engineered systems of interest. Further, he has linked the results of stochastic modeling directly to civil-environmental engineering decision-making.

Created in 2004, the Lazarus Award honors of former associate provost for academic affairs Barbara Lazarus.  This award recognizes the exemplary contributions to fostering a welcoming, nurturing environment for graduate students and young faculty at the university. Small will be honored at the College of Engineering’s 2017 Celebration of Education ceremony on April 27, 2017.