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Pitt’s Kent Harries studies the use of bamboo in constructing sustainable, earthquake-resistant buildings.

GSPIA Faculty Member Selected as Visiting Professor at Israeli Institute

Pitt's Shanti Gamper-Rabindran has been selected for the inaugural Bley Stein Visiting Professorship at the Arava Institute for Environmental Studies, a leading environmental studies and research institute in the Middle East. In May, she led a series of workshops in Kibbutz Ketura, Israel, on the intersection of environment, energy, health, and development issues.

Gamper-Rabindran also organized a conference, Environment and Energy: Comparison of U.S. and EU Policies, at Pitt in March 2014. She is an associate professor at Pitt's Graduate School of Public and International Affairs with a secondary appointment in the Department of Economics.

Pitt's CONNECT Receives Heinz Endowments Grant for Green Infrastructure Outreach

The Congress of Neighboring Communities (CONNECT)—an initiative based at the University of Pittsburgh that promotes cooperation between the City of Pittsburgh and 36 neighboring municipalities that comprise the region's urban core—has been awarded a grant from the Heinz Endowments to encourage municipalities to develop wet weather plans that utilize green infrastructure and reduce waste. More>

Smart Materials Get SMARTer

Few synthetic materials are able to mimic the human body's ability to regulate itself. But in the journal Nature, a team of engineers from Pitt and Harvard has presented a strategy for building self-regulating microscopic materials, ultimately paving the way toward so-called smart buildings with more energy-saving features and smarter biomedical engineering applications. More>

Human Hands Leave Prominent Ecological Footprints

Early human activity has left a greater footprint on today's ecosystem than previously thought, say researchers working at Pitt and in the multidisciplinary Long Term Ecological Research Network, created by the National Science Foundation to conduct long time scale research on ecological issues that span huge geographical areas. More>

Pitt Engineers, Magee-Womens Hospital Examine Environmental Impact of Childbirth

Researchers from the University of Pittsburgh and Magee-Womens Hospital have collaborated to improve sustainable childbirth procedures, both through vaginal delivery and birth by cesarean section. The study, published online in Science of the Total Environment, is the first of its kind to examine infant birth using Life Cycle Assessment (LCA), a technique that assesses the environmental impacts associated with all stages of a product’s or procedure’s life. More>

Pitt and Electric Power Research Institute Researchers Develop Method to Fingerprint Air Pollution

A team of researchers from Pitt and the Electric Power Research Institute collected emissions samples from several power plant stacks in the United States and developed a unique method for detecting the isotopic signatures of nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions under different configurations. These isotopic signatures will be instrumental in helping to identify emission sources of air pollution across the nation. More>

Commercial 'Green' Solar Cells May Be Possible, Say Pitt Researchers

Developing solar energy that is low-cost, lightweight, and energy efficient has proven to be one of the greatest challenges the science world faces today. Although current plastic solar cells are low in cost and easy to produce, they are not energy efficient and, therefore, not easily commercialized. With grant funding from the National Science Foundation, researchers at the University of Pittsburgh are predicting a way to produce solar cells that will offer more flexibility in generating green energy. More>

Pitt Study Suggests Nonchemical Water Treatments Touted as 'Green' Fail to Prevent Bacterial Growth in AC Systems in Large Buildings

Nonchemical treatment systems are touted as environmentally conscious stand-ins for such chemicals as chlorine when it comes to cleaning the water-based air-conditioning systems found in many large buildings. But a recent study by University of Pittsburgh researchers suggests that this diverse class of water-treatment devices may be ineffective and can allow dangerous bacteria to flourish in the cooling systems of hospitals, commercial offices, and other water-cooled buildings almost as much as they do in untreated water. More>