Carnegie Mellon University

David Dzombak, P.E.

David Dzombak, P.E. (E 1980, 1981)

Hamerschlag University Professor Emeritus, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Civil & Environmental Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue, PH 118J
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890


David Dzombak is Hamerschlag University Professor Emeritus at Carnegie Mellon. His professional focus is on water quality engineering, water resource sustainability, and energy-environment issues. 

Dzombak is a registered Professional Engineer in Pennsylvania, a Board Certified Environmental Engineer, a Board Certified Water Resources Engineer, a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers, and a National Academy of Engineering member.

(Full Bio - pdf)


PhD 1986 - Massachusetts Institute of Technology
MS 1981 - Carnegie Mellon University
BS 1980 - Carnegie Mellon University
BA 1980 - Saint Vincent College


Research Group: EESS 
Research Centers: SEERScott Institute, CERCA

  • Aquatic chemistry
  • Fate and transport of chemicals in water, soil, and sediment
  • Water and wastewater treatment
  • Abandoned mine drainage remediation
  • Industrial waste management
  • Climate change adaptation for infrastructure
  • Water resource sustainability
  • Energy and environment
  • Sustainable mining of metals
  • Public communication of civil and environmental engineering


Gorman, M., Dzombak, D.A., and Frischmann, C. (2022), “Potential Global GHG Emissions Reduction from Increased Adoption of Metals Recycling,” Resources, Conservation & Recycling, 184:106424.

Lai, Y., Lopez-Cantu, T., Dzombak, D.A., and Samaras, C. (2022), “Framing the Use of Climate Model Projections in Infrastructure Engineering – Practices, Uncertainties, and Recommendations,” Journal of Infrastructure Systems, 28(3) 04022020.

Lai, Y. and Dzombak, D.A. (2021), “Assessing the Effect of Changing Ambient Air Temperature on Water Temperature and Quality in Drinking Water Distribution Systems,” Water, 13, 1916,

Lai, Y. and Dzombak, D.A. (2021), “Use of Integrated Global Climate Model Simulations and Statistical Time Series Forecasting to Project Regional Temperature and Precipitation," Journal of Applied Meteorology and Climatology60:695-710.

Lai, Y. and Dzombak, D.A. (2020), “Use of the Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average (ARIMA) Model to Forecast Near-Term Regional Temperature and Precipitation,” Weather and Forecasting, 35:959-976.

Gorman, M.R. and Dzombak, D.A. (2020), “Stocks and Flows of Copper in the U.S.: Analysis of Circularity 1970-2015 and Potential for Increased Recovery,” Resources, Conservation & Recycling, 153:104542. 

Dickson, K.E. and Dzombak, D.A. (2019), “Water Supply Risk in the United States 2015-2050 Considering Projected Changes in Population and Thermoelectric Power Demand,” Environmental Science & Technology, 53:14113-14122.

Dickson, K.E. and Dzombak, D.A. (2019), “Drivers of Interbasin Transfers in the United States:  Insights from Sampling,” Journal of the American Water Resources Association, 55(4):1038-1052.

Gorman, M.R. and Dzombak, D.A. (2019), “An Assessment of the Environmental Sustainability and Circularity of Future Scenarios of the Copper Life Cycle in the U.S.,” Sustainability, 11:5624.

Lai, Y. and Dzombak, D.A. (2019), “Use of Historical Data to Assess Regional Climate Change,” Journal of Climate, 32:4299-4320.

Professional Service

  • ASCE Industry Leaders Council (2020-2023)
  • National Academies Report Review Committee (2021-present)
  • National Academies Committee on Repurposing Plastics Waste in Infrastructure (2022-2023).
  • National Academies Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability (2013-2021)
  • National Academies Water Science and Technology Board (2014-2019)
  • EPA Science Advisory Board (2002-2016)
  • Department of Defense Strategic Environmental Research and Development Science Advisory Board (2013-2016)
  • National Academies Roundtable on Unconventional Hydrocarbon Development (2015-2019)
  • Editorial Advisory Board, Resources, Conservation & Recycling (2022-present)
  • Editorial Advisory Board, Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering (2012-2016)

Recent Honors and Awards

  • 2022:  Environmental and Water Resources Institute Lifetime Achievement Award, American Society of Civil Engineers - Pittsburgh Section
  • 2021:  AAEES Kappe Lecturer, American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists
  • 2019: Distinguished Member, American Society of Civil Engineers
  • 2019: Gordon Maskew Fair Award, American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists
  • 2019: Civil Engineer of the Year, American Society of Civil Engineers - Pittsburgh Section
  • 2015: Distinguished Service Award, Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors 
  • 2014: Simon W. Freese Environmental Engineering Award, American Society of Civil Engineers 
  • 2013: received (with collaborators) the Grand Prize in the University Research category of the AAEES Excellence in Environmental Engineering and Science competition for project on "Use of Treated Municipal Wastewater as Power Plant Cooling System Makeup Water"