Carnegie Mellon University

CMU Energy Facts

Over the coming decades the world must make fundamental transformations in how energy is used and produced. That's where we come in.

The Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation at Carnegie Mellon University is focused on:

  • Using and delivering the energy we already have far more efficiently
  • Expanding the mix of energy sources in a way that is clean, reliable, affordable and sustainable
  • Creating innovations in energy technologies, regulations and policies

CMU is uniquely suited for these challenges with our many research centers and longstanding faculty expertise in technology, policy, integrated systems and behavioral science.

What makes us different is our ability to seamlessly combine these areas for maximum impact.

For facts and figures before 2010, click here.

CMU Energy Solutions:
Technology, Cybersecurity, Public Policy

Innovations from CMU faculty and researchers have been making an impact for decades. They have:

  • Developed new electric grid communications architectures that can withstand disruption from hackers while working on a more reliable U.S. electric system to protect it from cyber attack. Read More »
  • Provided one of the most detailed and useful studies on the increased greenhouse gas impacts of closing down nuclear plants in the wake of the radiation leaks at Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi plant. Read More »
  • Developed research on carbon capture and sequestration to help authorities in California provide electricity without greenhouse gas emissions. Read More »
  • Helped power companies identify ways to transmit energy more efficiently – minimizing waste and helping to keep heating and cooling prices down. Read More »
  • Matched fluctuations in power from wind turbines with advanced batteries to help balance electrical loads and make renewable energy more reliable and efficient.
  • Created an effective tool – the Integrated Environmental Control Model (IECM) – for government, academic and industrial organizations to calculate the performance, emissions and cost of fossil-fueled power plants. In the last two years, it has been used by more than 800 organizations in 50 countries. Read More »
  • Incorporated renewable energy resources and provided modeling, simulation and control tools needed to manage, optimize and secure world power grids. Read More »

Job Creation in the Energy Industry

The rapid transfer of new technologies from the research laboratory into the corporate marketplace is a unique strength of CMU and an important asset for the Scott Institute.

  • CMU ranks first among the Association of American Universities (AAU) schools in the number of start-ups per research dollar (FY08-12).
  • CMU’s award-winning professors and students produce an average of 25 new companies each year.
  • CMU has helped to greenlight more than 1,000 companies across industries such as robotics, software applications, energy, health care and finance. These companies create jobs across the United States and internationally, with the highest concentrations in Pittsburgh, Silicon Valley and India.

CMU Faculty:
Leaders in Interdisciplinary Research, from Technical Advances to Public Policy

  • The Scott Institute leverages the expertise of more than 145 professors and researchers from across CMU’s seven schools and colleges.
  • CMU professors and researchers inform expert decision makers and public discourse on energy issues.
    • Served as lead authors for Chapter Six and Chapter Ten of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change's Sixth Climate Assessment Report. 
    • Chaired the National Research Council committee that studied vulnerabilities of the U.S. power grid to terrorist attacks. The report focused on measures that could make the power delivery system less vulnerable and restore power faster.
    • Served on the 2012 advisory council of the U.S. Electric Power Research Institute.
    • Testified before energy committees in the 111th Congress, providing expert advice on incorporating both next generation technology research and policy recommendations to help transition the U.S. to a sustainable energy future.
    • Led the National Academy of Science’s report on Energy Efficiency in the 2010 series of “America’s Energy Future.”
  • CMU faculty have been recognized in the U.S. and internationally for their groundbreaking work, receiving some of the most prestigious international awards, including:
    • Sloan Research Fellow (Professor Venkat Viswanathan, 2018)
    • DOE Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E) Award for Research (Professor Inês Azevedo, 2017)
    • Multiple National Science Foundation Career Awards
    • The Lemelson-MIT Prize (Professor Jay Whitacre, 2015)
    • The Wolf Prize in Chemistry (Professor Krzysztof Matyjaszewski, 2011)
    • The National Engineering Award (President Emeritus Jared Cohon, 2011)

CMU: A Leader by Example

  • 100 percent of CMU’s electricity for its Pittsburgh campus is purchased from green power sources.
  • CMU is home to the first LEED-certified residence hall in the U.S., in addition to 13 other green building projects on its Pittsburgh campus.
  • CMU has received the Green Power Leader award from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency several times.
  • The Solar Controls and Diagnostics Lab (SCDL) at CMU's Silicon Valley campus is one of the world's most highly instrumented and monitored solar research facilities. With more than 1,000 sensors that monitor electrical and thermal behavior of the array throughout the year, the test-bed enables real-time estimation of partial shading and hot-spots that can significantly impact power output.
  • The Sherman and Joyce Bowie Scott Hall, where the Scott Institute is housed, is open for use, with a Gold LEED Certification.

Institute Background

  • The Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation builds upon decades of energy research at CMU.
  • The institute launched in September 2012 through a lead gift from Sherman and Joyce Bowie Scott, both CMU alumni.
  • The institute is named in honor of Sherman Scott’s late father, the former Chairman and CEO of Tenneco, Wilton E. Scott.