Dr. Melissa Bilec is the William Kepler Whiteford Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Co-director of the Mascaro Center for Sustainable Innovation. In October 2022, she was named to an annual appointment as the Special Assistant to the Provost for Sustainability. Dr. Bilec has published over 150 peer-reviewed articles and secured over $12 million in funding.
Her research focuses on the sustainable built environment. She is committed to exploring how the built environment can be an integral part of climate change solutions. She views the world and her research using a systems-level approach, and she 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. Most recently, she is working to solve the global waste challenge through the advancement and development of circular economy principles, since the built environment is a major consumer of resources and producer of waste. She is thrilled to be the Executive Director of the Covestro Circular Economy Program.
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, and the PhD Circular Economy Program. Dr. Bilec’s work prior to academia focused on green infrastructure projects, including the conversion of a 100-year hot metal bridge into a pedestrian bridge.