Carnegie Mellon University

Scott Institute Staff 

 

Costa Samaras

Costa Samaras

Director

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Constantine (Costa) Samaras is an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and affiliated faculty in the Energy Science, Technology and Policy Program at Carnegie Mellon University. His research focuses on the pathways to clean, climate-safe, equitable, and secure energy and infrastructure systems.

Samaras analyzes how technologies and policies affect energy use and national security, resilience to climate change impacts, economic and equity outcomes, and life cycle environmental emissions and other externalities. He directs the Center for Engineering and Resilience for Climate Adaptation and is the Director of the Power Sector Carbon Index. He is a fellow in Carnegie Mellon’s Scott Institute for Energy Innovation and by courtesy, a faculty member in both the Department of Engineering and Public Policy and CMU’s H. John Heinz III College of Information Systems and Public Policy.

Samaras served on three National Academies Committee evaluating emerging energy technologies and earth systems research, served as the chair of the ASCE Committee on Adaptation to a Changing Climate, and served on the Alternative Transportation Fuels and Technologies Committee and currently serves on the Energy Committee of the Transportation Research Board.

Samaras has published numerous studies examining electric and automated vehicles, renewable electricity, clean energy transitions and decarbonization policy, and climate resilience. He was a contributor to the 4th National Climate Assessment, and was one of the lead author contributors to the Global Energy Assessment. He has also led analyses on energy security, strategic basing, and infrastructure issues faced by the Department of Defense. He teaches courses on energy utilization and demand, climate change resilience, and infrastructure and environment interconnections in a changing world. In 2018, he was named Professor of the Year by the Pittsburgh Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers.

Samaras regularly provides commentary to online, print, radio, and television media, and his comments have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, The Atlantic, PBS, ABC News, WIRED, and other outlets. He has presented his research to senior appointed governmental leaders, former cabinet secretaries, senior federal and military decisionmakers, Congress Members and professional staff, and the leadership of major utilities, automotive companies, and technology firms.

From 2009 to 2014 he was a RAND Corporation researcher, most recently as a Senior Engineer and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, and was an adjunct senior researcher through 2021. From 2008 to 2009 he was a post-doctoral fellow in the Climate Decisionmaking Center at Carnegie Mellon, working on electric transportation and low-carbon technology policy. From 1999 to 2004 he was an engineer working on several multibillion-dollar infrastructure megaprojects in New York, including the extension of the Number 7 subway line in Manhattan, and also worked on the rebuilding of the subway line underneath the World Trade Center after the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Costa received a joint Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering and engineering and public policy from Carnegie Mellon, an MPA in public policy from the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, and a B.S. in civil engineering from Bucknell University.

Valerie Karplus

Valerie Karplus

Associate Director

  • Scott Hall 5113
Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Valerie J. Karplus is the Associate Director at the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation and a Professor in the department of Engineering and Public Policy.

Karplus studies resource and environmental management in organizations operating in diverse national and industry contexts, with a focus on the role of institutions and management practices in explaining performance. Areas of expertise include regional approaches to low carbon transition, decarbonization of global corporate supply chains, and the integrated design and evaluation of energy, air quality, and climate policies. Karplus has taught courses on public policy analysis, global business strategy and organization, entrepreneurship, and the political economy of energy transitions. At CMU, she runs the Laboratory for Energy and Organizations at the CMU Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation. She previously served on the faculty at the MIT Sloan School of Management. From 2011-2016, she directed the MIT-Tsinghua China Energy and Climate Project.

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Daniel Tkacik

Daniel Tkacik

Executive Director

  • Scott Hall, 5121
Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Tkacik (pronounced Ta-chick) has been at CMU since 2009, having earned an M.S. and Ph.D. in CMU's Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering. As a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellow, Tkacik's research focused on air pollution from combustion systems and helped advance the understanding of secondary organic aerosols -- microscopic airborne particles that form from the oxidation of organic (i.e. carbon-containing) vapors. From 2013-2014, he served as a postdoctoral researcher, traveling around the United States measuring methane emissions from natural gas facilities to gain a better understanding of greenhouse gas emissions from the natural gas sector.

From 2014 to 2022, Tkacik joined CMU's College of Engineering as a communications manager, leading the development of communications strategies and materials to elevate the stature and reputation of the College.

Prior to coming to CMU, Tkacik earned a B.S. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences from the Georgia Institute of Technology, conducting research on the properties of cloud condensation nuclei and the effects of cloud properties on global climate.

Dr. Gellman

Dr. Andrew Gellman

Co-Director, Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

In 2012, Gellman was appointed Co-Director of Carnegie Mellon’s Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, where he focuses on management of seed grant support for research, visiting faculty, and PhD student support. Professor Gellman received his BS in Chemistry from the California Institute of Technology in 1981 and his PhD from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1985. Thereafter, he was an ICI postdoctoral fellow at Cambridge University in Physical Chemistry. He became a faculty member of the chemistry department at the University of Illinois before joining Carnegie Mellon in 1992 where he was appointed the Lord Professor of Chemical Engineering in 1999. Prof.

Gellman also holds courtesy appointments in Materials Science and Engineering and in Chemistry. From Jan. 2003 – Nov. 2013 Prof. Gellman served as Department Head of Chemical Engineering. He oversaw a $28 million renovation of Doherty Hall between 2004 -2008. Prof. Gellman organized a consortium involving Carnegie Mellon, University of Pittsburgh, and West Virginia University and in 2007 became the founding Director of the Institute for Advanced Energy Solutions, an outgrowth of the Department of Energy - National Energy Technology Laboratory.

Reed McManigle

Reed McManigle

Senior Manager, Business Development & Licensing, Mentor in Residence

  • Center for Technology Transfer and Enterprise Creation (CTTEC) - 308
  • 412-286-5443
Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Reed McManigle focuses on energy innovation and entrepreneurship. McManigle assists energy researchers at CMU in protection of their intellectual property and development of strategies to move their work to commercial use. He helps researchers develop and implement strategies for forming startup companies, including conducting customer discovery; soliciting pre-seed funding; and developing relationships with entrepreneur partners. McManigle manages CTTEC's 'gap funding' program and is a mentor in CMU's NSF I-Corps Site program, and for CMU teams in national I-Corps programs.

Virginia Delaney

Virginia Delaney

Senior Administrative Coordinator

  • Scott Hall, 5127
  • 412-268-4111
Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

Ginny Delaney began working at Carnegie Mellon in 1998 as the Assistant to the Dean of Student Affairs. She served as the Dean’s assistant for eight years until moving to the Advancement Division where she was the Assistant to the Vice President for Advancement. In March 2016, Ginny joined the Scott Institute as its Administrative Assistant.

Katelyn Haas-Conrad

Katelyn Haas-Conrad

Assistant Director for Partnerships

  • Scott Hall, 5115
  • 412-268-6741
Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

As Assistant Director for Partnerships, Katelyn Haas-Conrad works closely with the Executive Director to develop and steward the Scott Institute partnerships and initiatives. She supports the work of the University Energy Institute Collaborative (UEIC), a first-of-its-kind partnership of U.S. university-based energy institutes formed to address the critical challenges facing America’s energy systems with a vision of supporting a low carbon and just energy future. Prior to joining the Scott Institute team, Katelyn worked for the Allegheny Conference on Community Development and the Greater Pittsburgh Chamber of Commerce for over six years. Her main areas of focus were energy, sustainability and infrastructure policy. She managed the Allegheny Conference’s Sustainability and Infrastructure committees and was integral in facilitating the creation of the Regional Transportation Alliance’s Imagine Transportation 2.0 and the creation of the Allegheny Conference’s Sustainability Principles. She received her Master’s in public policy and nonprofit management from the Graduate School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Pittsburgh, and has a BA in Chemistry and Psychology from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio. Katelyn served in the Peace Corps as a science and math teacher in Sierra Leone.

Kristen Whitlinger

Kristen Whitlinger

Digital Communications Manager

  • Scott Hall, 5115
  • 412-268-4484
Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

As Digital Communications Manager, Kristen Whitlinger leads the digital communication of the Scott Institute and its strategic objectives through engaging design, branding and web content. She brings nearly 10 years of experience in digital marketing, UX web design, and project management in a range of industries including education, arts and local nonprofits. Prior to joining the Scott Institute in 2021, Whitlinger spent five years at Pittsburgh Public Schools managing web and digital communications. She oversaw the district’s digital presence, including over 54 school websites and the district’s survey platform. She has worked with many local organizations in web design, brand management, social media, photography and graphic design. Kristen studied Art and Anthropology at University of Pittsburgh.

Teddy Mermigas

Teddy Mermigas

Event Manager

Address
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Bio

As Events Manager, Teddy Mermigas leads the planning and execution of events for various target audiences and projects. Teddy graduated from Duquesne University in 2018 with a Bachelor's degree in Marketing and Communications, and brings over 7 years of experience in event planning and execution. He has worked in a variety of roles in the events industry, including as an assistant to the Creative Director at LUXE Creative, Assistant Director of Event Services at The Duquesne Club, and Event Consultant for Event Source and Panache Events.