Carnegie Mellon University

David Dzombak, P.E.

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

Hamerschlag University Professor and Department Head, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Civil & Environmental Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue, PH 119D
Pittsburgh, PA 15213-3890


David Dzombak is the Hamerschlag University Professor and Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon. The emphasis of his research and teaching is on water quality engineering, water resource sustainability, and energy-environment issues. His current research is focused on climate change adaptation for infrastructure and sustainable mining of metals.

Dzombak serves on the National Academies Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability, and the ASCE Industry Leaders Council.  He is a registered Professional Engineer in Pennsylvania, a Board Certified Environmental Engineer, a Diplomate Water Resources Engineer, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

(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
  • Public communication of civil and environmental engineering


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 Climatology, accepted for publication.

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.

Dzombak, D.A. (2018), “Moving Beyond Forensic Monitoring to Understand and Manage Impacts of Hydraulic Fracturing for Oil and Gas Development,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 115(52):13145-13147.

Gorman, M.R. and Dzombak, D.A. (2018), “A Review of Sustainable Mining and Resource Management: Transitioning from the Life Cycle of the Mine to the Life Cycle of the Mineral,” Resources, Conservation & Recycling, 137:281-291.

Professional Service

  • ASCE Industry Leaders Council (2020-present)
  • National Academies Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability (2013-present)
  • 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, Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering (2012-2016)
  • Board of Directors, AEESP Foundation (2012-2014)

Recent Honors and Awards

  • 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"
  • 2021: Fellow, Water Environment Federation


  • 12-720 Water Resources Chem

Dave Dzombak: Water Quality & Resources: The Intersection of Water & Energy

Civil and Environmental Engineering Department Head Dave Dzombak discusses his work in water quality and water resources and the intersection of water and energy.