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Melissa M Bilec

  • Special Assistant to the Provost for Sustainability
  • Co-Director, MCSI
  • William Kepler Whiteford Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering

Dr. Melissa Bilec is the George M. and Eva M. Bevier Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Co-director of the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation. In October 2022, she was named as the Special Assistant to the Provost for Sustainability. She has led the University of Pittsburgh’s greenhouse gas inventories since 2008, and she serves on the Chancellor’s Sustainability Council which informs the climate strategy and actions for the university. Dr. Bilec has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles and secured over $20 million in funding. Her research focuses on the sustainable built environment and healthcare. She is committed to exploring how the built environment and healthcare can be integral to climate change solutions. She views the world and her research using a systems-level approach and is an expert in 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. She is working to solve the global waste challenge by advancing and developing circular economy principles, since the built environment is a major consumer of resources and waste producer.

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 the M.S. in Sustainable Engineering degree, co-developed a university-wide undergraduate certificate in sustainability, graduate certificate in circular economy, in PhD circular economy program. Dr. Bilec’s work before academia focused on green infrastructure projects, including the conversion of a 100-year hot metal bridge into a pedestrian bridge.