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Swanson School honors Patty Bubar as Distinguished Alumna in Civil & Environmental Engineering


Above: Patty Bubar (center) with Interim U.S. Steel Dean Sanjeev Shroff (left) and Department Chair Radisav Vidic

The University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering feted its 2023 class of Distinguished Alumni on Friday, March 3 at the University Club. Recognized among this year's honorees was Patrice M. “Patty” Bubar BSCE '78 as the Distinguished Alumnus in Civil and Environmental Engineering. 

“Patty’s education at Pitt established the foundation of nearly four decades in government service at the Environmental Protection Agency and the Department Of Energy. She became one of the leading experts in environmental and energy policy, from water management and environmental remediation to nuclear safety," explained Radisav Vidic, Department Chair of Civil and Environmental Engineering. She later served as both deputy and acting director of environmental programs for her home county in Maryland, utilizing her wealth of expertise to expand sustainable environmental programs as well as education and outreach. And with an appointment from the governor of Maryland, she now serves as on the public service commision to set utility rates and ensure that the state meets zero emissions and sustainability goals.

In many ways, patty’s dedication to a more sustainable future still resonates with our students to day, who can look to her as an inspiration for environmental excellence and securing a safer, more sustainable world for the next generation." 


About Patty Bubar

Patrice “Patty” Bubar graduated from the University of Pittsburgh Civil Engineering school in 1978.  She started her career with the U.S. government at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) immediately after graduation. Over the next 37 years, she worked at EPA, Department of Energy (DOE) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Responsibilities at these various agencies included senior leadership roles in ensuring clean water by addressing stormwater runoff, ensuring safe and environmentally responsible cleanup and closure of nuclear waste sites managed by DOE and a strong regulatory framework for operation of nuclear reactors.  These opportunities allowed Bubar to be recognized as a knowledgeable expert in environmental and energy policy and program development. 

After retiring from the federal government, Bubar served as the Deputy Director and Acting Director of the environmental program for Montgomery County, Maryland where she lives. In this position, she was responsible for many operational programs serving the residents of the county, such as advanced recycling and integrated solid waste management, stormwater management infrastructure, and educational workshops focusing on green infrastructure. She was an active participant in the county’s effort to implement a pilot program to provide clean energy to the residents through a community choice aggregation program. 

In 2022, she was appointed by the Governor of Maryland as a Commissioner on the Public Service Commission. In this role, she works with the 4 other commissioners to set the rates charged to customers by the energy utilities in Maryland as well as ensure that the environmental and energy goals set by the Maryland legislature related to zero greenhouse gas emissions are met. Patty says her Pitt education provided the necessary foundation for a successful career by creating a love of learning how to solve problems as well as working as a member of a team.