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Sustainability Capstone

The Sustainability Capstone, the capstone course for the Mascaro Center's Undergraduate Certificate in Sustainability and MS in Sustainable Engineering degree. 

This project-based course provides interdisciplinary teams of students with the opportunity to partner with external stakeholders and synthesize solutions to complex, real-world sustainability challenges.

Project topics are developed in consultation with instructors and sustainability stakeholders. Innovative solutions require the application of critical thinking and collaboration to resolve. By the end of the course the students will have a deeper understanding of:

  1. The multi-faceted nature of Sustainability solutions,
  2. Approaches to problem solving across fields, and
  3. How to communicate sustainable solutions and concepts in an interdisciplinary team environment.

Explore student projects from previous years below.

Recent Student Projects

Agrivoltaics for Western PA

Acknowledgments: Vignesh Arunkumar, Patrick Connor, Victoria Wengler, Dr. David Sanchez and, Dr. Tony Kerzmann

Sustainability PA Certification for McCandless

Credit: Kayla Bocianowski, Ammie Faunce, Anna Goetz, Anwen Kelly
Teaching Team: Dr. Tony Kerzmann, Dr. David Sanchez, Kate Zidar

Water Quality Monitoring Near the Beaver Cracker Plant

Credit to: Dr. Michael Blackhurst and collaborators (MWA and 3RWK), Brandon Brewster, Aaron Carr, Koa Reitz, Lucy Klug, Dr. Sanchez, and Dr. Kerzmann

Pittsburgh Eco-Village

3D rendering of Pittsburgh eco-village

Read Eco-Village Seeks to Recirculate Pittsburgh’s Waste, which includes 3D video tour of proposed design. 

Team: Dana Vidic, Corrine Koziel, Mel Marciesky, Delia Mercer, Darien Strickler

Sustainability Capstone Partners

Explore MCSI's past Sustainability Capstone partners using the tabs below.

2023 Partners

Congress of Neighboring Communities (CONNECT)
Graduate School of Public and International Affairs, University of Pittsburgh

Appalachian Sustainable Development

Oasis Farm & Fishery

eBay Inc.


Agropur Diary Cooperative

2022 Partners


Owens Corning

Fayette County Cultural Trust

Floor & Decor

Coeur Mining


The Honest Company, Inc.

Stepan Company

2021 Partners

Carnegie Museum of Art

Corning Incorporated


Koppers Inc.


Pillars Assets

The City of Pittsburgh


2020 Partners

Wilkinsburg Community Ministry

Operation Better Block

Town of McCandless Pennsylvania

Worm Wrangler

2019 Partners

Oasis Farm & Fishery

Fifth Season

Millie's Homemade Ice Cream

Center for Social & Urban Research,
University of Pittsburgh

Montauk Renewables

2018 Partners

The City of Pittsburgh, Mobility & Infrastructure

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development