Dr. Cassandra Thiel is an Assistant Professor at the Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service with a joint appointment at the NYU Langone School of Medicine in the Department of Population Health.
Her research focuses on systematically measuring and analyzing environmental inefficiencies in medical services and built infrastructures in order to optimize these systems. Specifically, she utilizes sustainable engineering tools, such as life cycle assessment (LCA) and industrial ecology, to improve hospitals, healthcare delivery, and medical waste streams.
As a 2014-2015 Fulbright-Nehru Academic and Professional Excellence fellow, she formed collaborative partnerships with ophthalmologists at Aravind Eye Hospitals in India, the University of Maryland, the University of Michigan, and the University of Pittsburgh. While in India, she conducted a cost and life cycle assessment of high-volume cataract surgery at Aravind Eye Hospitals. Dr. Thiel’s experience at Aravind led to a postdoctoral position at the University of Pittsburgh conducting and comparing environmental and cost assessments of cataract surgeries in the US and India, where she built on the results of that study to recommend policy changes regarding material use in US ophthalmic surgery. Additionally, she is partnered with orthopedic surgeons at the University of Pittsburgh to run the first clinical trials of environmental interventions to reduce waste in hand surgery.
Dr. Casandra Thiel has a PhD in Civil Engineering with an emphasis on Sustainable Healthcare and Green Buildings, from the University of Pittsburgh.