Carnegie Mellon University
Skip navigation and jump directly to page content

June 5: Carnegie Mellon Appoints David A. Dzombak New Faculty Director of Steinbrenner Institute


Chriss Swaney                           

Carnegie Mellon Appoints David A. Dzombak
New Faculty Director of Steinbrenner Institute

PITTSBURGH—David A. Dzombak, Carnegie Mellon University's Walter J. Blenko Sr. Professor of Environmental Engineering, has been named the new faculty director of the Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research (SEER).

"David Dzombak has contributed to raising the national visibility and impact of our environmental engineering education and research. This new appointment will strengthen our long tradition of successful environmental research, as well as our collaborative strengths in science, information technology, and social and policy issues," said Pradeep Khosla, dean of Carnegie Mellon's College of Engineering. "The Steinbrenner Institute helps expand our global footprint in environmental education and research, and brings new opportunities to the campus and the region."

David DzombakFor more than two decades, Dzombak has conducted leading-edge research in the areas of aquatic chemistry, water and wastewater treatment, abandoned mine drainage remediation, river and watershed restoration, and hazardous waste site remediation.  

"I am honored to be entrusted with this new responsibility, and I will work hard to advance the mission of the Steinbrenner Institute in environmental education anin promoting collaborative environmental research," said Dzombak, who is co-director of the new Center for Water Quality in Urban Environmental Systems (WaterQUEST) and associate dean for graduate and faculty affairs in the College of Engineering. "I will build on the initiatives of founding SEER Director Chris Hendrickson and Executive Director Deb Lange, who together developed many outstanding new initiatives since the institute's inception in 2004. I look forward to working with Deb Lange and all the faculty affiliated with SEER."                 

"I'm pleased to be working with Professor Dzombak," said Lange, who leads the Brownfields Center at Carnegie Mellon. "With an internationally recognized environmental engineer at our helm, we will take even greater strides in meeting our mission."    

In 2004, Carnegie Mellon Trustee W. Lowell Steinbrenner and his wife, Jan, pledged seed funds of $4 million to set up the Steinbrenner Institute, which is charged with developing and enhancing the impact of environmental research and education. The educational focus includes an emphasis on helping all Carnegie Mellon undergraduate students understand environmental problems and the practical solutions that can lead to a more sustainable world. In the past three years, SEER has allocated more than $250,000 in grants to a variety of research and educational initiatives, including industry and media panel sessions, and media fellowships.   

Dzombak is a member of the Environmental Engineering Committee of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Science Advisory Board and the Environmental Technology Subcommittee of the U.S. EPA National Advisory Council for Environmental Policy and Technology. He chairs the National Research Council's Committee on the Mississippi River and Clean Water Act, and is an associate editor of the journal Environmental Science and Technology.                 

In activities related to regional water quality, Dzombak serves on the Regional Water Management Task Force organized through the University of Pittsburgh Institute of Politics, and on the Stormwater Advisory Panel of 3Rivers Wet Weather, Inc.                

Dzombak has received many professional awards and honors. In 2002, he was elected a fellow of the American Society of Civil Engineers. He received the Excellence in Review Award from Environmental Science and Technology; the Professional Research Award from the Pennsylvania Water Environmental Association; the Jack Edward McKee Medal from the Water Environment Federation; the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program Fellowship from the David and Lucille Packard Foundation; the Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize from the American Society of Civil Engineers; the Harrison Prescott Eddy Medal from the Water Environment Federation; and a National Science Foundation Presidential Young Investigator Award.     

Dzombak has been a member of the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department faculty since 1989, when he joined Carnegie Mellon as an assistant professor. He earned a Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1986. He received bachelor's and master's degrees in civil and environmental engineering from Carnegie Mellon, and a bachelor's degree in mathematics from Saint Vincent College in Latrobe, Pa. Dzombak is a registered professional engineer in Pennsylvania and a diplomate of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers.