University of Vermont

Dr. Domenico Grasso
Dean of the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences

Dr. Domenico Grasso was the Dean of the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences (CEMS) at the University of Vermont (UVM) 2005-2009. He holds a B.S. from Worcester Polytechnic Institute, an M.S. from Purdue University and a Ph.D. from The University of Michigan. He is a registered Professional Engineer in the states of Connecticut and Texas, and a Diplomate of the American Academy of Environmental Engineers.

Prior Appointments

Prior to joining UVM, Professor Grasso was Rosemary Bradford Hewlett Professor and Founding Director of the Picker Engineering Program at Smith College, the first engineering program at a women's college in the United States, and Professor and Head of Department in Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Connecticut. He has been a Visiting Scholar at UC-Berkeley, a NATO Fellow, and an Invited Technical Expert to the United Nations Industrial Development Organization in Vienna, Austria.

In 1998, Professor Grasso served on a World Bank–funded international team of scholars that established the first environmental engineering program in Argentina. In 2000, the Water Environment Federation named him a "Pioneer in Disinfection." He recently chaired a U.S. Congressional briefing entitled "Genomes & Nanotechnology: The Future of Environmental Research." In addition, Professor Grasso was co-founder along with Dr. Sally Ride, the first American woman astronaut, of TOYChallenge — a national toy design challenge for 5th to 8th graders to excite them about science, engineering and the design process in a fun, creative and collaborative manner, relevant to everyday life.

An Advocate for the Environment

Professor Grasso is an environmental engineer who studies the ultimate fate of contaminants in the environment and develops new techniques to reduce the risks associated with these contaminants to human health or natural resources. His research focuses on molecular-scale processes that underlie nature and the behavior of contaminants in environmental systems. He views engineering as a bridge between science and humanity, making it particularly well suited for incorporation into liberal arts universities. His classes, although technically rigorous, also explore the societal and philosophical issues facing engineers and scientists.

Professor Grasso is currently Vice-Chair of the United States Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board and Chair of Vermont's Environmental Engineering Advisory Council. He was formerly President of the Association of Environmental Engineering & Science Professors, Editor-in-Chief of Environmental Engineering Science and Associate Editor of Reviews in Environmental Science and Biotechnology. He has authored more than 100 technical papers and reports, including four chapters and two books. Federal, state and industrial organizations have supported his research work. He serves on advisory boards at Johns Hopkins, Notre Dame, WPI and the National Academy of Engineering.

On a Personal Note

Professor Grasso, his wife Susan Hull Grasso (also an engineer) and their children — Benjamin, Jacob, Elspeth and Caitlin — enjoy hiking, camping and a variety of musical and athletic activities.