Dr. Kebreab Ghebremichael joined the Patel School of Global Sustainability in 2011, after a decade of life in Europe where he did his doctoral work at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm, Sweden and then worked at UNESCO-IHE Delft Institute for Water Education in the Netherlands. He has helped to elevate the Patel School of Sustainability to the present Patel College of Global Sustainability. He also served as the Director of the Office of Sustainability and worked on several initiatives, which helped USF achieve national and international recognitions for its sustainability practice.
Dr. Ghebremichael grew up in Eritrea, East Africa, a semi-arid country that faces water scarcity. There has always been a struggle to supply sufficient water to towns, villages and other demand sectors. In order to understand the challenges of water and environmental issues, Dr. Ghebremichael pursued graduate studies in water engineering. Addressing the challenges of water is key for sustainable development and this led him delve deeper into sustainability challenges. Through the Water Sustainability program at PCGS, he aims to prepare students to understand the local and global water-related challenges and state-of-the-art approaches to resolve such issues. Some of his students are working with water utilities, national and international NGOs, and government organizations.
Dr. Ghebremichael is currently involved in several projects. One project is funded by the National Science Foundation that engages graduate and undergraduate students in international research experience in water and sanitation in Ghana, West Africa. He is also working on a life cycle assessment of shopping bags for Publix. Recently, he completed a project on Greenhouse Gas emissions assessment (historical inventory and projection for 2050) for the State of Florida.
Dr. Ghebremichael has been supervising research topics related to systems approach for life cycle assessment, impact of climate change and resiliency of water supply in the Tampa Bay region. He also conducts research on the development of efficient technology for fluoride removal using biosand filter.
“Sustainability is a new field that is becoming important in both the public and private sectors. The job market has been growing steadily over the years, and I would advise our students to get new skills and knowledge to prepare themselves to match the needs of the emerging job market”, said Dr. Ghebremichael. To prepare students with such skills, PCGS supports students with resources and facilitates workshops for certifications in LEED GA, Envision, GIS, and related tools of sustainability reporting systems such as accounting greenhouse gas emissions (GHG) and environmental, social, and governance (ESG) reporting. Dr. Ghebremichael encourages students to explore further on their own and consult with PCGS professors to guide and support their sustainability careers.