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SSOE Champions for Sustainability

Swanson School Faculty and Students Named MCSI Sustainability Champions

Tony Kerzmann, associate professor of mechanical engineering and materials science at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, has been named the 2021 Pitt Sustainability Champion in the faculty category by the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation (MCSI) for his work on renewable energy and sustainability.

The program honors faculty, staff and students who have gone above and beyond to support campus sustainability in any of the three categories of the Pitt Sustainability Plan: Stewardship, Exploration, and Community and Culture.

“This year’s winners are integral in cultivating a culture of sustainability at Pitt,” said Gena Kovalcik, co-director of MCSI. “We’re excited to honor their contributions and inspire the next generation to take up the mantle of building a more sustainable world.”

Kerzmann is one of this year’s Leonard Peters Faculty Fellows and co-teaches the “Current Issues” and “Sustainability Capstone” core courses for MCSI’s Sustainability Certificate. His research focuses on the energy sector, leading projects that relate to energy and sustainability, including solar energy. He is currently working on offshore hydrogen production and 3D printed building optimization.

Jessica Vaden, graduate student in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, was also among the winners for her work on the Pitt’s Greenhouse Gas Inventory, which has been a critical analysis for future planning and the Pitt Climate Action Plan.

Additionally, two MCSI interns, Anna Coleman and Gabrielle Sampson, were selected in the undergraduate student category. Coleman, a senior majoring in Global Studies, leads the peer training, coordination and execution of the First Year Presentations that introduce first year students to sustainability. Sampson, a senior studying geology and environmental science, has created two comprehensive Year of Engagement grant proposals, including one on indoor air quality.

All 25 honorees will be recognized at the Student Sustainability Symposium on April 23, 2021.