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, sustainable water resources, 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 Ph.D. in Civil Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1986. He also holds an M.S. in Civil Engineering (1981) and B.S. in Civil Engineering (1980) from Carnegie Mellon University, and a B.A. in Mathematics from Saint Vincent College (1980). He is a registered professional engineer in Pennsylvania, a board certified environmental engineer by the American Academy of Environmental Engineers and Scientists, and a member of the National Academy of Engineering.

Dzombak's professional service activity has included membership in the EPA Science Advisory Board (2002-2016); the DoD Strategic Environmental Research and Development Science Advisory Board (2013-2016); the National Academies Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability (2013-present); the National Research Council (various committees, 2000-present); Editorial Advisory Board for ACS Sustainable Chemistry & Engineering (2012-2016); associate editor of Environmental Science & Technology (2005-2012); Editorial Board of Water Environment Research (1993-1998) and Ground Water (1991-1993); chair, Board of Directors, AEESP Foundation (2012-2014); Board of Directors and Officer (Treasurer) of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (1996-1999); chair of committees for the American Academy of Environmental Engineers, American Society of Civil Engineers, and Water Environment Federation; and advisory committees for Allegheny County, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and numerous universities and organizations.

119D Baker/Porter Hall
Google Scholar
David Dzombak
David Dzombak's website

Water Quality & Resources: The Intersection of Water & Energy


1986 Ph.D., Civil Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

1981 MS, Civil Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

1980 BA, Mathematics, Saint Vincent College

1980 BS, Civil Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

Media mentions

CMU Engineering

Burcu Akinci named head of Civil and Environmental Engineering

Burcu Akinci has been appointed the new head of the CEE at Carnegie Mellon University effective July 2022.


Dzombak quoted on climate change in Pennsylvania

CEE Head David Dzombak was quoted in WESA on climate change causing floods in Pennsylvania.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Dzombak quoted on climate change’s effect on Pittsburgh

CEE Head David Dzombak was quoted in the The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about how the changing climate will affect Pittsburgh’s infrastructure.

CMU Engineering

A (climate change) tale of 115 cities

Climate change is happening, but the details of how can vary greatly, which makes planning for the future a challenge. A new, open dataset contains climate histories of more than 100 U.S. cities, showing the unique changes each city has been through, and hinting at what might lie ahead.

Hard Facts

Dzombak on climate change and infrastructure

CEE Head David Dzombak was interviewed for the Hard Facts podcast about how engineers are changing methods to design and build infrastructure in the wake of climate change.

The American Society of Civil Engineers

Dzombak named Distinguished Member of ASCE

CEE Head David Dzombak was named a Distinguished Member of the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), America’s oldest national engineering society that represents more than 150,000 civil engineers worldwide.

Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Dzombak weighs in on Panther Island flood prevention project

CEE Head David Dzombak recently spoke with the Fort Worth Star-Telegram about the city’s 15-year $1.17 billion Panther Island project that would help control flooding and create thousands of acres of new real estate.

Dzombak and Samaras recognized during ASCE Pittsburgh’s Engineers’ Week

CEE’s David Dzombak and Costa Samaras received awards from the Pittsburgh Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers during its 2019 Engineers’ Week Banquet.

CMU Engineering

Engineering meets history with Daina Ramey Berry

In honor of Black History Month, the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering recently co-hosted the visit of distinguished historian and acclaimed author Professor Daina Ramey Berry to Carnegie Mellon University.

Chemical & Engineering News

Dzombak comments on fracking studies

Penn State researchers found a way to use chemical signatures to differentiate between natural methane leakage and methane that leaked as a result of fracking. CEE Head David Dzombak, while impressed, says we need to do more to understand the impact of fracking on ground and surface water. He suggests that government, industry, and scientists should work together on prospective studies throughout the life cycle of a well.

The Incline

Dzombak quoted on orthophosphates in drinking water

The Incline quoted CEE Head David Dzombak on the planned addition of orthophosphates to Pittsburgh's water supply. Dzombak addressed health and environmental concerns and said that orthophosphates have proven effective in other cities.

CMU Engineering

Where is the Southwest getting all of its water?

David Dzombak and student Kerim Dickson surveyed and mapped Interbasin Transfers throughout the country to assess how cities might adapt their water supply routes to the stresses of climate change.