Dr. Melissa M. Bilec

Dr. Melissa Bilec will co-lead the program in Summer 2023. She is the William Kepler Whiteford Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Co-director of the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation. Dr. Bilec has published 135 peer reviewed articles and secured $10 million in funding, including 14 National Science Foundation grants. Her research focuses on the sustainable built environment. She is committed to exploring how the built environment can be an integral part of climate change solutions. She views the world and her research using a systems-level approach, as she is an expert in the life cycle assessment. Using this view, she integrates critical built environment modeling approaches from building energy modeling to indoor air quality to develop robust strategies to mitigate climate change and deleterious environmental and human health impacts. Most recently, she is working to solve the global waste challenge through the advancement and development of circular economy principles, since the built environment is a major consumer of resources and producer of waste.

Dr. Bilec is committed to diversity, inclusion, and equity. She is working to advance the issues around and the solutions to environmental justice in the City of Pittsburgh. Dr. Bilec is co-leading her department’s Inclusion, Diversity, Equity, and Access committee. She is also the co-faculty advisor for Pitt Society for Women Engineering.  She was awarded the School of Engineering Diversity Award 2017-2018 and received Senior Vice Chancellor for Engagement’s Partnerships of Distinction award in 2019.  

She has received four education excellence awards, and she developed a new M.S. in Sustainable Engineering degree and co-developed a university-wide undergraduate certificate in sustainability. Dr. Bilec’s work prior to academia focused on green infrastructure projects, including the conversion of a 100-year bridge into a pedestrian bridge. She has two amazing kids, a supportive and funny partner, and two puppies that keep her active.