Carnegie Mellon University

Paul Fischbeck

Paul Fischbeck

Professor Emeritus
Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering/Engineering Management


Ph.D.: Stanford University


My research focuses on the quantification and communication of uncertainty. This work covers both theoretical improvements to decision analysis and numerous applied real world problems.

Using a systems approach, I have studied a variety of topical problems. Working closely with graduate students, he has quantified the pollution caused by international shipping and proposed several engineering and economic solutions. I am a co-director of the Brownfields Center at Carnegie Mellon University and have developed RISES (Regional Industrial Site Evaluation Systems), a geographic information system (GIS) designed to evaluate the environmental risk and economic potential of abandoned industrial sites. I am currently studying performance-based regulations and how they can be used to improve fire-safety systems and oil-tanker design.

I also have an active research program in understanding and improving risk communication and the design of effective decision support systems. I have studied the actual and perceived risks of mine subsidence in western Pennsylvania, insurance-buying behavior in US and Japan, warning labels on paint strippers, and the health and environmental concerns of citizens in the Pittsburgh area. I am currently studying how farmers make crop-insurance purchase decision and perceptions of risk and diversification in financial markets and the power-generation industry.


  • Corbett, J.J., and P.S. Fischbeck, (2000)"Emissions from Waterborne Commerce Vessels in United States Continental and Inland Waterways," Environmental Science and Technology, Vol. 34, No. 15, August.
  • Hayakawa, H., P. S. Fischbeck, & B. Fischhoff, (2000) "The Japanese Automobile Insurance Industry - Regulation, Market Structure and Possible Impacts of Deregulation," Journal of Insurance Regulation, Vol. 18, No. 3, pp. 385-403.
  • Small, M. J. & P. S. Fischbeck, (1999) "False Precision in Bayesian Updating with Incomplete Models." Journal of Human and Ecological Risk Assessment, Vol. 5, No. 2, pp. 291-304.
  • Corbett, J. J. & P. S. Fischbeck, (1997) "Emissions from Ships." Science Vol. 278, pp. 823-824, 31 October.
  • PatE-Cornell, M. E. & P. S. Fischbeck, "Risk Management for the Tiles of the Space Shuttle." Interfaces, Vol. 24, No.1, January 1994.