Overview

Dr. Iris Grossmann is Assistant Professor of Sustainable Technology at Chatham University’s Falk School of Sustainability. She also holds an appointment as Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Engineering and Public Policy Department at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). Dr. Grossmann teaches on renewable energy systems, urban and community sustainability, the technological dimension of sustainability, and climate adaptation. She has a Ph.D. in Geoscience/Meteorology and an M.S. in Mathematics and has worked on interdisciplinary problems in the areas of energy, climate and the environment since 2002. Previously she was a Research Scientist at the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) where she also taught and advised students. During 2015-2016 she served as Director of Education at CMU’s Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research where she focused on developing materials for climate and energy literacy.

Dr. Grossmann’s main research focus is on large-scale utilization of solar electricity. She has modeled and published several papers on optimizing large-scale solar electricity networks to mitigate solar intermittency. Her current research, a collaboration with the Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change at the University of Graz, Austria (funded by the Austrian Central Bank) explores the utilization of solar electricity in the steel industry. Read more about student research in this topic area in the research section.

A second research focus of Dr. Grossmann’s work is sustainability and resilience of cities and communities. With a grant by Bank of America, she works with several students to explore community revitalization, assessment of natural resources, and climate resiliency in Pittsburgh’s Homewood neighborhood. Having undergone undergone a series of challenging structural changes, Homewood experiences high unemployment and pervasive poverty. The community is also affected by air pollution and soil contamination, loss of trees and urban pollinators, as well as frequent combined sewer-stormwater overflows. Read more about student research in this topic area in the research section and on Dr. Grossmann’s Homewood project blog.

From 2013-2016, Dr. Grossmann served as co-PI on the 4-institution project FuturAgua. This project explored adaptation to drought in northwest Costa Rica. Dr. Grossmann was responsible for analyzing how climate changes may affect drought, and developing future drought projections.