David A. Dzombak, Ph.D., P.E., BCEE, D.WRE, F.ASCE, NAE, longtime professor and current head of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University, has been honored by ASCE with inclusion in its 2019 class of Distinguished Members for his outstanding education, leadership, and research contributions to water quality engineering, sustainable water resources, and energy-environmental issues, particularly a consistent thermodynamic database for metal absorption on hydrous metal oxides.
Dzombak has had a strong impact on education that expands from the classroom to the world at large. At Carnegie Mellon he spearheaded the program on the Impact of Global Climate Change on Infrastructure, which has served as a template for other schools of engineering. His professional service and education activity involve the EPA Science Advisory Board, the National Academies Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability, and the National Academies Roundtable on Unconventional Hydrocarbon Development.
He is one of the world’s most prominent engineers in the area of water quality engineering, energy-environmental matters, and water resources sustainability. Spanning a wide set of applications, his work includes aquatic chemistry; fate and transport of chemicals in water, soil, and sediment; water and wastewater treatment; in situ and ex situ soil and sediment treatment; industrial waste management; abandoned mine drainage remediation; climate change adaptation for infrastructure; and water management challenges associated with the production of shale gas by hydraulic fracture.
Dzombak has coauthored several notable books on water and soil as well as surface complexation modeling, and has over 150 book chapters and papers published. He has also co-organized 20 conferences and workshops. Patents held include “Method for Treating Water Contaminated with Cyanide” and “Alumina Catalyst Support Preparation.”
In 2008, Dzombak was elected to the National Academy of Engineering for the development of models used in evaluating chemical behavior in water quality engineering and environmental remediation.
Recent honors are the Distinguished Service Award from the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP), 2015, and the ASCE Simon W. Freese Environmental Engineering Award, 2014. Other awards include Fellow, Water Environment Federation (WEF); AEESP Distinguished Lecturer; Jack Edward McKee Medal, WEF; Aldo Leopold Leadership Program Fellow, David & Lucile Packard Foundation; ASCE’s Walter L. Huber Civil Engineering Research Prize; and Presidential Young Investigator Award, National Science Foundation.
Besides ASCE, AEESP, WEF, and NAE, Dzombak is a member of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists, American Academy of Water Resources Engineers, American Chemical Society, American Geophysical Union, American Society of Engineering Education, American Water Resources Association, American Water Works Association, National Civil Engineering Honor Society (Chi Epsilon), Engineers Society of Western Pennsylvania, Geochemical Society, National Ground Water Association, Pittsburgh Geological Society, Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, and others.
Dzombak holds a Ph.D. in civil engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (1986), and obtained his B.S. and M.S. in civil engineering from Carnegie Mellon University.