Domenico Grasso

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Dr. Domenico Grasso is Provost of the University of Delaware.

Dr. Domenico Grasso (b. 1955 Worcester, Massachusetts) is Provost of the University of Delaware (UD). Prior to holding this position, he was Vice President for Research and Dean of the Graduate College at the University of Vermont (UVM). He did his secondary school education at St. John's High School (Massachusetts) and holds a B.Sc. 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.

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 (SAB), President of the Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP) and Associate Editor of Reviews in Environmental Science and Biotechnology. He was appointed by Vermont Governor James Douglas to Chair the Vermont Environment and Engineering Advisory Council. He has authored or co-authored more than 100 technical papers and reports, including four chapters and three books, including Holistic Engineering Education - Beyond Technology (Springer, 2009). Federal, state and industrial organizations have supported his research work. He has served on advisory boards at Johns Hopkins, the University of Notre Dame, Colgate, WPI, Olin College, and the National Academy of Engineering.

Prior Appointments[edit]

Prior to his current position as Provost, Dr. Grasso was Vice President for Research and Dean of The Graduate College at UVM. This dual appointment followed his tenure as UVM's Dean of the College of Engineering and Mathematical Sciences, where he successfully led an effort to build a university-wide research focus in complex systems.[1]

Prior to joining UVM, Dr. Grasso was Professor and Head of the Department in Civil & Environmental Engineering at the University of Connecticut. He subsequently declined an offer to chair the Department of Earth and Environmental Engineering at Columbia University to accept the position of Rosemary Bradford Hewlett Professor and Founding Director of the Picker Engineering Program at Smith College,[2] the first engineering program at a women's college in the United States. 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.

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 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. Grasso was also 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[edit]

Dr. Grasso has delivered a numberTemplate:Clarification needed-- zero is a number of lectures across Taiwan as their national distinguished environmental lecturer.[citation needed] 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, Dr. Grasso's research focuses on molecular-scale processes that underlie nature and the behavior of contaminants in environmental systems.[citation needed] He views engineering as a bridge between science and humanity, making it particularly well suited for incorporation into liberal arts universities.[citation needed] His classes, although technically rigorous, also explore the societal and philosophical issues facing engineers and scientists.[citation needed] He has authored a number of essays that have helped better define engineering for the 21st century. The most influential[citation needed] of these is "Holistic Engineering" [1].

Military Service[edit]

While at WPI, Grasso received an Army ROTC scholarship.[citation needed] After receiving his master's degree from Purdue, he served four years on active duty as an engineer with USAEHA-RDS at Ft. McPherson, Georgia, and six years in the Army reserve in Special Operations Command, first with the 415th CA Battalion in Michigan and subsequently as Commander of the Headquarters and Headquarters Company of 353rd Civil Affairs Command in New York.[citation needed] In 1989, he resigned his commission at the rank of Major. His awards included an Army Commendation Medal and Parachutist Badge.[citation needed]

Personal information[edit]

Domenico Grasso is married to Susan Hull Grasso, an engineer.[citation needed] They have four children, Benjamin, Jacob, Elspeth, and Caitlín.[citation needed]


  1. '^ Vermont Complex Systems Center
  2. '^ Christian Science Monitor article


[1] "The engineer behind Smith's new program." Christian Science Monitor.

[2] "Turn science into child's play." MSNBC News (Feb. 5, 2004; 10:30 p.m. ET).

[3] "Holistic Engineering." The Chronicle of Higher Education.