WPI’s Sustainability Plan calls for the university to support a staff position dedicated to realizing its sustainability goals, and thus will tap the complementary talents of both John Orr as director of sustainability, and Liz Tomaszewski as associate director of sustainability. John and Liz assumed these new roles as half-time positions, effective Sept. 1, reporting to the offices of provost Bruce Bursten and executive vice president and chief financial officer Jeff Solomon.
John Orr, a professor of electrical and computer engineering, joined WPI in 1977. In addition to his faculty appointment, he has held several administrative positions, including head of the ECE Department, dean of undergraduate studies and, from 2007 to 2010, provost. The WPI Task Force on Sustainability was created while John was provost; he has served as co-chair since then and led the development of the WPI Sustainability Plan, which centers on ecological stewardship, social justice, and economic security.
Liz Tomaszewski, who was previously WPI’s sustainability coordinator, is also facilities systems manager, a role she will retain. She has considerable expertise in engaging students and staff in sustainable campus initiatives and in facilities programs promoting energy efficiency and resource conservation. Liz also worked closely with John to develop the WPI Sustainability Plan.
The two will work with faculty, students, and staff to achieve the goals of the Sustainability Plan in the four areas of Academics, Campus Operations, Research, and Community Engagement. In addition to WPI’s internal efforts—such as recycling, the use of renewable resources, and energy efficiency to reduce our carbon footprint—WPI’s dedication to sustainability will ensure that our graduates leave campus with the understanding of and the ability to develop practical and sustainable solutions to the world’s problems.