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Kappe Lecture Series: Dr. David Dzombak, PhD, PE, BCEE, DWRE
Start Date: 10/5/2021Start Time: 1:00 PM
End Date: 10/5/2021End Time: 2:00 PM
Event Description

"Climate Change Adaptation and Environmental Engineering: Evolving Practices and New Tools"

The climate is changing globally and across the U.S., with different types and extent of change in different regions. Observed changes include sustained deviation from long-term trends in atmospheric temperatures, water temperatures, precipitation amounts, drought duration, storm frequency, wind velocities, snow melt timing, flood frequency and characteristics, permafrost melting, and other phenomena. These changes are affecting civil and environmental infrastructure and leading to demand for modification of infrastructure designs and operations. New approaches are needed in infrastructure design and operation guidelines, codes, and procedures to account for changing climate conditions.

New tools are coming into use in infrastructure engineering for projection of changing climate conditions, especially downscaled global climate model (GCM) products. Depending on the type of engineering application and purpose of required future climate information, various climate model projections are being applied and utilized, with different temporal and spatial resolution, type of downscaled GCM products employed, and post-processing methods for calibration of the results to regional and local scale.

This talk will examine the need and challenge of climate change projection in particular locations, the scale at which infrastructure engineering projects take place. Evolving practices and tools will be presented, and demonstrated through some environmental engineering applications. The use of climate projection results from several different GCMs and downscaled products and from an ensemble of multiple GCMs will be explored in the context of the applications. The importance and utility of historical long-term observations for particular locations will also be examined. Opportunities to access, learn about, and exploit these new tools for environmental engineering will be discussed.

David Dzombak is the Hamerschlag University Professor and Head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon. The emphasis of his research and teaching is on water quality engineering, water resource sustainability, and energy-environment issues. At Carnegie Mellon he also has served as Associate Dean for Graduate and Faculty Affairs for the College of Engineering (2006-2010), as Director of the Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research (2007-2013), and as Interim Vice Provost of Sponsored Programs (November 2012-August 2013).

Dzombak received his PhD in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1986. He also holds an MS in Civil Engineering (1981) and a BS in Civil Engineering (1980) from Carnegie Mellon, and a BA in Mathematics from Saint Vincent College (1980). He is a registered Professional Engineer in Pennsylvania, a Board Certified Environmental Engineer, a Diplomate Water Resources Engineer, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.


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