Sustainable energy and sustainable living have long been areas of academic and personal interest for Professor LaPuma. “To maintain our standard of living in an energy-constrained future will not be easy; we need robust energy strategies and a new way of thinking about energy”, he says. Among his research activities, Professor LaPuma has studied the carbon emissions of electric vehicles, compared to gasoline-powered vehicles, the payback time of installing wind turbines, and the potential of geothermal energy. He has studied the feasibility of utility scale solar systems, wind farms and alternative fuel facilities for the federal government. He has also worked with Kuwait and Oman in developing solar systems to offset oil and gas consumption.
Prior to joining the Milken Institute SPH faculty in 2009 (after four years as an adjunct), Dr. LaPuma was a faculty member at the Air Force Institute of Technology and the Uniformed Services University. He developed a wide range of environmental science courses, covering such topics as sustainable life cycle design, environmental and occupational health, public health risk assessment, the legal framework for pollution, and toxicology. His teaching skills were recognized with a series of “teacher of the year” awards.
Dr. LaPuma retired from the Air Force in 2007, after 21 years, and then served as a sustainable energy consultant to Booz Allen Hamilton. Putting his academic interests into real-world application, he also designed a sustainable subdivision on a Virginia farm and designed and built his own earth berm home.
Bachelor of Science (Mechanical Engineering), Clarkson University, 1986
Masters in Business Administration, Wright State University, 1991
Master of Science (Engineering and Environmental Management), Air Force Institute of Technology, 1995
Doctor of Philosophy (Environmental Engineering and Sciences), University of Florida, 1998
PubH 6126 – Assessment and Control of Environmental Hazards, Department of Environmental and Occupational Health
PubH 6004 – Environmental and Occupational Health in a Sustainable World
Tutorials – Chemistry concepts, Biochemistry, Math
PubH 3190 – Sustainable Energy and Environmental Health
PubH 6130 – Sustainable Energy and the Environment
Sust 1001 – Introduction to Sustainability
Dr. LaPuma’s research currently focuses on lifecycle assessment of the air pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions associated with various sustainable energy strategies, with particular attention to economic payback analyses. He has also published on advanced chemical agent and explosives detection for crime scene investigations, airport passenger screening systems, and terrorist attacks and on the bioavailability of chromate, a human lung carcinogen from aviation primer paints.
Professor La Puma has been a member of the American Industrial Hygiene Association, the Association of Energy Engineering and other professional associations, and a peer reviewer for Journal of Occupational and Environment Hygiene, Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology and International Life Cycle Assessment Journal. He has also been a Boy Scout leader for 12 years.
- Climate Change
- Environmental Health Policy
- Environmental and Occupational Health
- Industrial Hygiene
- Sustainable Energy
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