University of Pittsburgh
October 9, 2003

Pitt School of Engineering Announces Creation of New Sustainability Initiative

Dedication ceremony to be held at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 14
Contact:  412-624-4147

EDITORS: The Mascaro Sustainability Initiative dedication ceremony is open to media coverage.

PITTSBURGH—The University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering announced today the creation of the Mascaro Sustainability Initiative (MSI), which will be dedicated at 2:30 p.m. Oct. 14 in the Mosier Learning Center on the 12th Floor of Benedum Hall, 3700 O'Hara St., Oakland.

The MSI will build on the School of Engineering's educational program in green construction by helping to define the next generation of research in sustainability. According to University of Pittsburgh Chancellor Mark A. Nordenberg, "This unique new research initiative will help the University of Pittsburgh School of Engineering become a leader in sustainability research by creating opportunities for national and international collaborations to solve real-world problems and to create a safer global environment."

The engineering initiative received seed funding earlier this year from the Heinz Endowments and the George (ENGR '13) and Eva Bevier Estate. Pitt engineering alumnus John C. (Jack) Mascaro (ENGR '66, '80G) recently contributed a generous lead gift, which enabled the School of Engineering to embark on this new research program.

In the spring of 2004, MSI will award seed grants in the research areas of green construction and sustainable water use. These awards will nurture collaborative projects based on strong, innovative research.

Although the challenges related to sustainability have been studied extensively by researchers from such fields as economics, public policy, and architecture, real-world solutions have lagged significantly behind, according to U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering Gerald D. Holder.

"This newest resource will allow us to create the next generation of sustainable products and processes," said MSI Codirector Eric J. Beckman, Bayer Professor and chair of Pitt's Department of Chemical and Petroleum Engineering.

The Mascaro Initiative will conduct educational and outreach programs and sponsor a biannual scientific conference, bringing together academic and research professionals from various disciplines to share their expertise. The first conference is scheduled to be held in spring 2005.

"The generosity of both Jack Mascaro and the Heinz Endowments and the bequest from George Bevier present a unique opportunity for the School of Engineering to develop this leading-edge academic and research program whose work will have a profound impact on sustainability," said Holder.