The interdisciplinary program for Pitt engineering Ph.D. students will be supported by a three-year, $506,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Education's Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need program.
"Engineers must understand that the world is a finite place with finite resources, and next generation products and processes must be designed within the framework of this complex system," said Eric Beckman, codirector of MSI and Bayer Professor of Chemical Engineering at Pitt.
"This grant will enable us to engage a diverse and talented group of students to translate the fundamental science of sustainability into real products and processes," added MSI codirector Gena Kovalcik.
Pitt engineering students already can travel to the University at Campinas in So Paulo, Brazil, to conduct research in green construction and sustainable water use technology under a University program funded by a $3.2 million Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship grant from the National Science Foundation.
Engineering professors at the University also are collaborating on a project called "Research in Sustainable Community Development," which will support an international workshop to generate a research agenda in the areas of green construction and water that is attentive to cross-cultural and ethical issues.