Carnegie Mellon University

2017 News

December 13, 2017

New Study Finds Carbon Capture and Utilization Won't Mitigate Global Warming

A study by four international scientists, including Carnegie Mellon University's Edward S. Rubin, questions the effectiveness of a proposed plan to mitigate global warming by using carbon dioxide (CO2) to produce fuels for transportation.

December 8, 2017

The Unclean Business Of Clean Energy

Jay Whitacre recently spoke about the advancement of new energy technology on the radio show Innovation Hub from PRI Public Radio International and WGBH Boston.

December 8, 2017

Cranor Receives FORE Professorship

Cranor, the FORE Systems Professor of Computer Science and of Engineering and Public Policy, is a leading researcher in both online privacy and usable privacy and security, and directs the CyLab Usable Privacy and Security Laboratory (CUPS). She is co-director of the Institute for Software Research’s Privacy Engineering master’s program and in 2016, she served as chief technologist at the US Federal Trade Commission.

December 1, 2017

Vehicle Fuel Economy Standards—Under Fire?

New research from EPP's Kate Whitefoot, Meredith Fowlie of UC Berkeley and Steven Skerlos of University of Michigan addresses criticisms that have been raised about fuel efficiency standards, some of which are based more in confusion and misinformation than fact. 

December 4, 2017

Whitacre Awarded $50K Energy Award for Creating Eco-friendly Battery

Jay Whitacre, director of Carnegie Mellon University's Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, has been awarded the 2017 Leigh Ann Conn Prize for Renewable Energy for creating the first mass-produced, low-cost, eco-friendly battery called the Aqueous Hybrid Ion (AHI™).

November 17, 2017

Azevedo named a 2017 Clean Energy Education & Empowerment (C3E) Awardee

Ines Azevedo has been awarded the C3E Award in Research by the U.S. Department of Energy, for her research studying the transition to a sustainable, low-carbon, affordable, and equitable energy system. The 2017 C3E Symposium was held November 15-16 in Cambridge, MA. 

November 02, 2017

Faculty, Students Pitch Research Innovations at Regional Energy Conference

Four CMU student teams presented technology innovation posters developed in an "Energy Innovation and Entrepreneurship" course taught by Deborah Stine, professor of the practice in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy and associate director for policy outreach at the Scott Institute.

October 20, 2017

H. Scott Matthews Speaks at Alliance of Automotive Service Providers Summit

On September 23, Carnegie Mellon University Engineering and Public Policy and Civil and Environmental Engineering Professor H. Scott Matthews delivered a keynote address at the Alliance of Automotive Service Providers of Pennsylvania (AASP-PA) Shop Survival Summit 2017.

October 6, 2017

Whitacre Named The Trustee Professor in Energy

On Oct. 5, over 80 people including Carnegie Mellon University leadership, faculty, staff and community members gathered to honor Jay Whitacre, director of the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, as he was installed as the College of Engineering’s Trustee Professor in Energy. The professorship is designated by the University’s Board of Trustees to honor leadership and academic excellence in the College of Engineering. 

September 15, 2017

Putting the power to model pollution into your hands

Air quality affects everyone: not just governments and universities, but average citizens, children, pets. At Carnegie Mellon, Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) and Engineering and Public Policy (EPP) Professor Peter Adams is working to make sure that everyone who is affected by air pollution has the tools they need to understand the quality of their air.

September 13, 2017

Even when it’s sitting in storage, coal threatens human health

Nicholas Muller and Akshaya Jha (Heinz College) found that wind blowing over uncovered coal piles at U.S. power plants plus gaseous emissions from the piles significantly increased concentrations of airborne fine particulates within 25 miles of these plants. The findings suggest that this dimension of coal use should be regulated as well.

September 11, 2017 

Six common misconceptions about CAFE policy

On July 25, the U.S. Department of Transportation announced that it may revise auto fuel efficiency requirements and freeze fuel economy targets. Much of the media narrative surrounding the announcement and fuel efficiency as a whole is based on widely held but false beliefs, Kate Whitefoot explains how this has resulted in a national conversation about fuel efficiency based more in myth than science.

September 8, 2017

Lorrie Cranor writes in The Washington Post, "As researchers into password security, my colleagues and I have known for years that most password advice was not actually based on scientific knowledge. To address this, we have been conducting experiments about the effects of password requirements on security and usability."

September 6, 2017

In her paper, “Compliance by Design: Influence of Acceleration Tradeoffs on CO2 Emissions and Costs of Fuel Economy and Greenhouse Gas Regulations,” Whitefoot analyses the role that design tradeoffs, such as compromising acceleration, can play in cost-effectively bringing vehicles into compliance with regulations.

August 21, 2017

Polarization for Controversial Scientific Issues Increases With More Education

A commonly proposed solution to help diffuse the political and religious polarization surrounding controversial scientific issues like evolution or climate change is education. However, Carnegie Mellon University researchers - including EPP's Baruch Fischhoff - found that the opposite is true: people’s beliefs about scientific topics that are associated with their political or religious identities actually become increasingly polarized with education.

August 18, 2017

Marketplace Podcast: Where do White Supremacist groups go from here?

A wave of tech companies have condemned white supremacist organizations and websites, like the Daily Stormer. But will their online presence eventually fade away, or just find another outlet? Nicolas Christin, an associate research professor at Carnegie Mellon University, joined us to discuss whether sites like these will be able to thrive on the Dark Web.

August 16, 2017

CMU Welcomes Graduate Students To Be Audacious, Courageous, Tenacious

Travis Carless, president of the Graduate Student Assembly and a doctoral candidate in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy, told the new students that CMU believes in their abilities and is there to help them.

July 28, 2017


The Summer Center for Climate, Energy, and Environmental Decision Making –   is a  5 day summer program for students and a 2 day workshop for teachers.  This year 23 students from 16 different schools spent a week learning about energy, climate change, and the environment through interactive lab experiments, lectures, and special field trip to the Bruce Mansfield Power Plant and Chatham's Eden Hall Campus. Special thanks to Brian Sergi for leading SUCCEED this year and to Parth Vaishnav for acting as staff advisor. Thanks also to students Erin Mayfield, Sneha Shanbhag, Liza Reed, Aviva Loew, Marguerite Marks, Carl Mailings, Tim Bartholomew, Arthur Yip, Mike Rath, Sarah Robb, Shayak Sengupta, Kenneth Sears, Varun Kasireddy, and Daniel Gingerich,  Amanda Quay, Sinnott Murphy, Vanya Britto, Ria Laureijs, Patrick Funk, and Michael Craig. Thanks to faculty Granger Morgan, Peter Adams, Costa Samaras, Neil Donahue, and Joel Tarr for teaching. 

July 19, 2017

Aging power plants provide Trump administration with risks and opportunities

In a paper published in Energy Policy, CMU's David Rode and Paul Fischbeck and alumnus Antonio Páez found that power plant retirement trends will complicate long-term carbon dioxide (CO2) emission reduction targets, and also require a significant increase in capital investments.

July 3, 2017

Behaving safely online? It depends where you’re from

“By and large, users are working primarily with security tools that are designed by and for western users,” says Nicolas Christin, a professor in the departments of Engineering and Public Policy and the Institute for Software Research. “What we wanted to find out was: does that matter? How does your country of origin affect your online security behavior?”

The study was presented at last month’s ACM CHI 2017 conference in Denver, CO.

June 10, 2017

Controlling Natural Gas Emissions

What role does methane gas play in the fight against climate change? In a video series produced by the Pennsylvania Environmental Council, Allen Robinson gives the rundown on natural gas' climate-damaging emissions.

May 21, 2017

EPP Commencement 2017

Commencement ceremonies on May 21, 2017 honored Carnegie Mellon's class of 2017. Engineering and Public Policy - which proudly celebrates forty years as a department this year - recognized the newest PhDs, master's students, and undergraduates who will move on to pursue opportunities at the intersection of technology and policy.

May 08, 2017

Researchers Unveil New Password Meter That Will Change How Users Make Passwords

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Chicago have just unveiled a new, state-of-the-art password meter that offers real-time feedback and advice to help people create better passwords.

April 27, 2017

Understanding Decisions

A paper published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows how collaborations between psychologists and economists lead to better understanding of consumer decision-making than either discipline alone.

April 21, 2017

EPP Celebrates 40 Years

This year, the Department of Engineering and Public Policy (EPP) celebrates its 40th anniversary. After creating double-major undergraduate degree programs with all traditional engineering departments, EPP was established as an academic department in December of 1976.

March 22, 2017

CMU To Launch Index Measuring Carbon Dioxide Emissions

A new index that will measure carbon dioxide emissions from U.S. electric power producers has been created by Carnegie Mellon University and Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems.
March 15, 2017

EPP Faculty Featured Prominently at CMU Energy Week

The second annual CMU Energy Week kicks off March 27. This campus-wide event focuses on five themes: the Future of Energy, Innovation, Research, Policy, and Education.

March 07, 2017

Group Tolerance Linked to Perceptions of Fairness and Harm

A new study by research scientist Nichole Argo, and The New School for Social Research, found that people are willing to share a society with those of differing beliefs as long as they believe that those groups share a commitment to universal moral values such as fairness and harm.

March 03, 2017

Cranor Stresses the Need to Test Privacy Policies

Ten years ago, a CyLab graduate student asked, “What would happen if everybody read all of the privacy policies on all of the websites they visit?" Lorrie Cranor swiftly responded "Don't be ridiculous, that would never happen." McDonald's question, however, piqued Cranor's interest: Why would that never happen?

February 10, 2017

EPP’s Wong-Parodi wants to help us talk about climate change

The fear of starting an argument is enough to keep some people from interacting with people who might disagree with them. But thanks to Assistant Research Professor Gabrielle Wong-Parodi, they may not have to be afraid; at least when it comes to talking about climate change.

January 24, 2017

Elisabeth Bass Udyawar Wins College of Engineering Continuous Excellence Award

Elisabeth Bass Udyawar was honored with the College of Engineering's Continuous Excellence Award for superior committment to her role at Carnegie Mellon.