Carnegie Mellon University

Environmental Engineering, Sustainability, and Science (EESS)

Sustainability addresses the ability of societies to maintain and improve quality of life while preserving both the quality and availability of its natural resources. As the world’s population increases, engineers face ever-evolving challenges with regard to issues of sustainability and the health of our natural environment. The EESS research group seeks to meet the growing challenges of environmental stewardship and sustainability, and focuses on:

  • air and water quality engineering, science, and modeling
  • environmental nanotechnology
  • environment-energy studies (including: bioenergy, carbon capture and sequestration, and shale gas)
  • environmental sensing
  • green design and construction
  • industrial ecology
  • life cycle assessment
  • remediation risk assessment
  • sustainable engineering
  • climate change

Examples of EESS research projects:

Plant Nanobiotechnology

Engineered nanomaterials (ENMs) and nanotechnology will be an important tool for making agriculture more resilient and sustainable.

We are working to understand how molecules can be used to deliver engineered nanomaterials to specific locations inside of plants and produce nano-enabled agrochemicals that safely and efficaciously promote plant health.


An Assessment of Environmental Sustainability of Mining and Mined Materials in the U.S.

This project looks at the sustainability of open-pit mining by evaluating the life-cycle of mined materials and dependancies of demand drivers such as population, GDP, and dematerialization to make projections about future sustainability.

Drinking Water Vulnerability to Coal Power Plant Wastewater Discharges

What happens when regulatory and tax incentives for improving air quality have unintended consequences on water? This project investigates how coal power plant wastewater discharges affect our drinking water sources by using geospatial and statistical modeling to quantify effects.

Forecasting and Evaluating Engineering Applications of Near-term Regional Climate Change

This research uses a statistical techniques to assess historical climate data to contribute to improved regional (city-scale) near-term climate projections.

The improved near-term forecasting technique can help bridge the gap between the climate information provided by the climate science community and practical applications in the engineering community.