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, equitable urban and community development, the technological dimension of sustainability, and climate adaptation. She has a Ph.D. in Geoscience and an M.S. in Mathematics. She has worked on interdisciplinary environmental, urban development and climate problems since 2002 and on energy research since 2007. 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 has published six collaborative research papers on renewable energy, with a focus on large-scale utilization of solar electricity. This work uses model results on the optimized design of large-scale solar electricity networks to mitigate solar intermittency. Her current main project, a collaboration with the Wegener Center for Climate and Global Change at the University of Graz, Austria, was previously funded by the Austrian Central Bank. This research 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 is equitable community development in the context of a transition to environmental sustainability and climate resilience. She is leading a long-term project focusing on stormwater mitigation and revitalization in the Homewood community of Pittsburgh, which was previously funded by a grant from Bank of America. Four Masters thesis projects have been completed to date, two more are scheduled to graduate in summer 2020.
Having undergone undergone a series of challenging structural changes, Homewood experiences high unemployment and pervasive poverty. The community is affected frequent flooding, loss of trees and urban pollinators, and air pollution and soil contamination. Dr. Grossmann is leading an exploration of stormwater mitigation policy that could support public private partnerships to fund green stormwater infrastructure. 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.