Mitchell J. Small-Engineering and Public Policy - Carnegie Mellon University

Mitchell J. Small

H John Heinz III Professor of Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

Professor and Associate Department Head for Graduate Affairs, Engineering and Public Policy

Professor, Civil and Environmental Engineering

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
Office: Porter Hall 123D
Phone: (412) 268-8782
Research Interests: Research in mathematical modeling and monitoring of environmental systems, uncertainty, and risk.


  • Carnegie Mellon 1982-
Professor Small has developed and applied mathematical models for surface and groundwater contamination, ambient and indoor air pollution, and integrated environmental assessment. 

His work in integrated assessment include studies of drinking water regulations, local and global air pollution, site remediation, environmental health risk assessment (EHRA), and methods for assessing and promoting environmentally sustainable products and infrastructure.


  • Ph.D. (Environmental Engineering) 1982, University of Michigan
  • M.S. (Environmental Engineering) 1979, University of Michigan
  • B.S. (Civil Engineering, and Engineering and Public Affairs) 1974, Carnegie Mellon University


Professor Small conducts research on methods for characterizing uncertainty, its implications for regulatory decisions, and the value of information which can lead to reduced uncertainty and improved decision making. Bayesian statistical methods are applied to identify the impact of research and monitoring programs at various stages in an environmental assessment. 

Risk perception, communication, and the content and form of decision-support information can have a significant impacts on the behavior of engineers, product designers and consumers, with significant implications for environmental performance and exposure. Integrated environmental performance and exposure models are developed considering both pollutant and human behavior. Results are used for the design of decision-support and risk communication materials.


  1. Riley, D.M., B. Fischhoff, M.J. Small and P. Fischbeck, "Evaluating the effectiveness of risk-reduction strategies for consumer chemical products", Risk Analysis, 21, 357-369, 2001.
  2. Gurian, P.L, M.J. Small, J.R. Lockwood III and M.J. Schervish, "Addressing uncertainty and conflicting cost estimates in revising the arsenic MCL", Environmental Science & Technology, 35(22): 4414-4420, 2001.
  3. McDaniels, T.L. and M.J. Small, "Risk Analysis and Society: An Interdisciplinary Characterization of the Field", Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, UK, 2004.
  4. Krayer von Krauss, M.P., E.A. Casman and M.J. Small, "Elicitation of expert judgments of uncertainty in the risk assessment of herbicide tolerant oilseed crops", Risk Analysis, 24(6): 1515-1527, 2004.
  5. Stiber, N.A., M.J. Small and M. Pantazidou, "Site-specific updating and aggregation of Bayesian Belief Network models for multiple experts", Risk Analysis, 24(6): 1529-1538, 2004.
  6. Gilau, A.M., R. Van Buskirk and M.J. Small, "Enabling optimal energy options under the Clean Development Mechanism. Energy Policy, 35(11):5526-5534, 2007.
  7. Brusick, D., M.J. Small, E.L. Cavalieri, D. Chakravarti, X. Ding, D.G. Longfellow, J. Nakamura, E.C. Rogan and J.A. Swenberg, "Possible genotoxic modes of action for naphthalene", Regulatory Toxicology and Pharmacology, 51(2), Supplement 1(Naphthalene State of Science Symposium):43-50, 2008.
  8. MacDonald, J., M.J. Small and M.G. Morgan, "Explosion probability of unexploded ordnance: Expert beliefs", Risk Analysis, 28(4): 825-841, 2008.