Dr. Domenico Grasso is the Chancellor of the University of Michigan at Dearborn. Formerly he was Professor of Engineering and Policy and quondam Provost at the University of Delaware. Previously, he was Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate College at the University of Vermont. Previously he was Dean of the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences at UVM, and 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 to joining UVM, Dr. 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. He is currently Editor in Chief of the journal Environmental Engineering Science, and has served as Vice Chair of the United States Environmental Protection Agency Science Advisory Board, President of the Association of Environmental Engineering & Science Professors, and Associate Editor of Reviews in Environmental Science and Biotechnology. He has authored more than 100 journal papers & reports, including four chapters and three books, including Holistic Engineering Education: Beyond Technology (Springer, 2010). Federal, state and industrial organizations have supported his research work. He has served on advisory boards at Johns Hopkins, Notre Dame, WPI, and the National Academy of Engineering.
Professor Grasso served on a World Bank funded international team of scholars that established the first environmental engineering program in Argentina. The Water Environment Federation has named him a “Pioneer in Disinfection”. He chaired a U.S. Congressional briefing entitled “Genomes & Nanotechnology: The Future of Environmental Research” and was invited to address the Congress of the Republic of Peru. Dean Grasso was co-founder along with Dr. Sally Ride, the first American women astronaut, of TOYChallenge, a national toy design challenge for 5th-8th graders to excite them about science, engineering, and the design process in a fun, creative, collaborative process, relevant to everyday life.
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, Professor Grasso’s research focuses on molecular scale processes that underlie nature and behavior of contaminants in environmental systems. He views engineering as a bridge between science and humanity, making it particularly well suited for incorporation into a liberal arts universities. His classes, although technically rigorous, also explore the societal and philosophical issues facing engineers and scientists.
Dean Grasso, his wife Susan Hull Grasso, also an engineer, and children, Benjamin, Jacob, Elspeth, and Caitlín enjoy hiking, camping and a variety of musical and athletic activities.