University of Pittsburgh
October 26, 2000

Dominion Grant Supports Energy, Environment at Pitt's School of Engineering

Contact:  412-624-4147

Pittsburgh, Oct. 27 -- Dominion, the energy company formed by the merger of Dominion Resources and Consolidated Natural Gas Company, reaffirmed its commitment to the Pittsburgh region and to environmental education with a $500,000 grant to the Dominion Center for Environment and Energy at the University of Pittsburgh's School of Engineering. The Center will be formally dedicated and renamed by Dominion Chairman, President, and Chief Executive Officer Thos. E. Capps and Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg on Friday, Nov. 3, at 4 p.m., in Benedum Hall, Oakland.

"We are impressed by Pitt's approach to research," said Capps. "Instead of just identifying problems, Pitt works to find solutions to problems. If we are to satisfy America's growing energy needs in an environmentally responsible way, we must be problem solvers."

"Dominion's grant is one example of partnerships forged with a broad range of businesses and industries that contribute to Pitt's ability to find solutions to the challenges facing our community and our world," Pitt Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg said. "It is also strong evidence of Dominion's sincere intention to remain actively involved in building a brighter future for the Pittsburgh region. We are sincerely grateful for their continued involvement."

The Center, previously known as the Engineering Center for the Environment and Energy, conducts multi-disciplinary research into real-world problems, coordinating teams of faculty experts with industry and federal, state and local government agencies.

The $500,000 grant from the Dominion Foundation will be used to refurbish laboratories and support research programs in developing new sources of energy and finding more efficient and environmentally friendly ways to use traditional energy resources, in addition to solving problems with air, water, and land pollution.

Some of the current energy projects underway at the Center include exploring safe and economical ways to harvest vast quantities of methane gas trapped below the ocean, development of an electric car, and studies on cleaner and more efficient ways to use coal.

Environmental issues being tackled at the Center include developing ways to neutralize the caustic "red mud" produced by aluminum plants, detecting and treating HIV in wastewater, using carbon dioxide as an environmentally safe dry cleaning agent, and landfill and drinking water safety issues.

Gerald Holder, USX Dean of the School of Engineering, said that George A. Davidson, Jr., retired Dominion chairman and a member of Pitt's Board of Trustees, was instrumental in securing the grant.

"The Pitt School of Engineering has a long history and tradition of quality education and research in environment and energy, and has made this research center one of the most active on campus," Davidson said. "Quite simply, the Center has the quality and expertise worthy of Dominion's support."

Frederick G. Pohland, professor of civil and environmental engineering at Pitt, will direct the Center.

The Dominion Foundation is dedicated to the economic, physical, and social health of the communities served by Dominion companies. Dominion, headquartered in Richmond, Va., is the nation's largest fully integrated electric power and natural gas company. For more information, visit the company's web site at