Carnegie Mellon University

Elizabeth Casman

Elizabeth Casman

Associate Research Professor Emerita, Engineering and Public Policy

  • Baker Hall 131B
  • 412-268-3756
Department of Engineering and Public Policy
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


  • Associate Research Professor, Carnegie Mellon University, 1997-
  • Environmental Engineer, Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, 1996
  • Chief, Mathematical Modeling Division, Maryland Department of the Environment, 1993-1994
  • Environmental Systems Engineer, Interstate Commission on the Potomac River Basin, 1986-1993


  • PhD from The Johns Hopkins University, Department of Geography and Environmental Engineering (DoGEE)
  • MS from Northern Arizona University, Microbiology
  • BS from Syracuse, Microbiology 


A major direction of Dr. Casman’s research is evaluating the regulatory framework for emerging technologies, such as hydraulic fracturing, genetic engineering, and manmade nanomaterials. She is also interested in the protection of water resources, water and health connections in developing countries, infectious disease transmission dynamics, biotechnology policy, and microbial risk assessment.



  1. Dale, A.L., G.V. Lowry, and E. Casman (2017) Accurate and fast numerical algorithms for tracking particle size distributions during nanoparticle aggregation and dissolution. Environmental Science: Nano, 4:89-104. DOI: 10.1039/C6EN00330C.
  2. Gao, X., Spielman-Sun, E., Rodriguez, S., Casman, E. A., & Lowry, G. V. (2017). Time and nanoparticle concentration affect the extractability of Cu from CuO NP amended soil. Environmental Science & Technology, 51(4):2226-2234. DOI: 10.1021/es2021796 
  3. Gernand, J. M., and Casman E. A. (2016) Nanoparticle Characteristic Interaction Effects on Pulmonary Toxicity - A Random Forest Modeling Framework to Compare Risks of Nanomaterial Variants.ASCE-ASME J. Risk Uncertainty Eng. Syst., Part B: Mech. Eng., 2(2) DOI: 10.1115/1.4031216, 021002.
  4. Dale, A.L., G.V. Lowry, and E. Casman (2015) Stream Dynamics and Chemical Transformations Control the Environmental Fate of Silver and Zinc Oxide Nanoparticles in a Watershed-Scale Model. Environmental Science & Technology, 49(12):7285-93. DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.5b01205
  5. Dale, A. L., Casman, E. A., Lowry, G. V., Lead, J., Viparelli, E., & Baalousha, M., (2015) Modeling nanomaterial environmental fate in aquatic systems. Environmental Science & Technology. DOI: 10.1021/es505076w
  6. Dale, A.L., G.V. Lowry, and E. Casman (2015) Much ado about α: Reframing the debate over appropriate fate descriptors in nanopartical environmental risk modeling. Environmental Science: Nano, DOI: 10.1039/C4EN00170B.
  7. Gernand, J.M., & Casman, E. A. (2014). Machine Learning for Nanomaterial Toxicity Risk Assessment. IEEE Intelligent Systems, 29(3), 84-88.
  8. Masinter, A., Small, M. J., & Casman, E. A. (2014). Research prioritization using hypothesis maps. Environment Systems and Decisions, 34(1), 49-59.
  9. Gernand, J. M., & Casman, E. A. (2014). A meta-analysis of carbon nanotube pulmonary toxicity studies – How physical dimensions and impurities affect the toxicity of carbon nanotube. Risk Analysis, 34(3), 583-597.
  10. Dale, A. L., Lowry, G. V., & Casman, E. A. (2013). Modeling Nanosilver Transformations in Freshwater Sediments. Environmental Science & Technology, 47(22), 12920-12928.
  11. Hendren, C. O., Badireddi, A. R., Casman, E. A., & Wiesner, M. R. (2013). Modeling nanomaterial fate in wastewater treatment: Monte Carlo simulation of nano-Ag concentration as a function of surface chemistry. Science of the Total Environment, 449, 418-425.
  12. Leitch, M. E., Casman, E. A., & Lowry, G. V. (2012). Nanotechnology Patenting Trends through an Environmental Lens: Analysis of Materials and Applications. Journal of Nanoparticle Research, 14(12), 1283-1289.
  13. M.R. Wiesner, Lowry, G.V., Casman, E., Bertsch, P.M., Matson, C.W., Di Giulio, R.T., Liu, J., Hochella, M.F. Jr., “Meditations on the ubiquity and mutability of nano-sized materials in the environment.” ACS Nano, 2011 Nov 22;5(11):8466-70.
  14. M.R. Wiesner, G.V. Lowry, K.L. Jones, M.F. Hochella, Jr., R.T. Di Giulio, E. Casman, and E. S. Bernhardt, “Decreasing Uncertainties in Assessing Environmental Exposure, Risk, and Ecological Implications of Nanomaterials,” Environmental Science & Technology, 2009, 43(17):6458-6462.
  15. G. V. Lowry and E. A. Casman, “Nanomaterial Transport, Transformation, and Fate in the Environment: A Risk-based Perspective on Research Needs” inNanomaterials: Risks and Benefits, I. Linkov and J. Steevens, eds., Springer, printed in the Netherlands, 2008

Unconventional Natural Gas

  1. Mitchell, A. L., Griffin, M. W., and Casman, E. A.  (2016) Lung cancer risk from radon in Marcellus Shale gas in Northeast U.S. homes. Risk Analysis 36(11):2105-2119. DOI: 10.1111/risa.12570
  2. Mitchell, A. L., Small, M. J., & Casman, E. A. (2013). Surface Water Withdrawals for Marcellus Shale Gas Development: Performance of Alternative Regulatory Approaches in the Upper Ohio River Basin. Environmental Science & Technology, 47(22), 12669−12678.
  3. A.L. Mitchell and E.A. Casman, “Economic incentives and regulatory framework for shale gas well site reclamation in Pennsylvania.” Environmental Science & Technology, 2011, 45(22):9506-14.

Infectious Disease Transmission

  1. D.P. Durham, S. Albert, and E. Casman, “Using survey data to parameterize the Health Belief Model in dynamic agent-based simulations. Risk Analysis Article first published online: 7 MAY 2012, DOI: 10.1111/j.1539-6924.2012.01823.x
  2. D. P. Durham and E. A. Casman, “Incorporating individual health protective decisions into disease Transmission models: a mathematical framework.” J.Royal Soc. Interface, 2012, 9(68): p. 562-570
  3. S.T. Green, M. J. Small, E. A. Casman, “Determinants of National Diarrheal Disease Burden”, Environmental Science & Technology, 2009, 43(4):993–999.
  4. E. Casman and H. Dowlatabadi (eds.), The Contextual Determinants of Malaria, Resources for the Future Press, Washington, D.C, 2002.
  5. E. A. Casman, M. J. Small, B. Fischhoff, H. Dowlatabadi, and M. G. Morgan, "Climate Change and Cryptosporidiosis: A Thought Experiment Using an Influence Diagram", Climatic Change, 2001, 50(1/2):219-249.
  6. E. A. Casman, B. Fischhoff, M. J. Small, C. Palmgren, and F. Wu, "An Integrated Risk Model of a Drinking-Water-Borne Cryptosporidiosis Outbreak", Risk Analysis, 2000, 20(4):493-509.

Risk Analysis

  1. Song, J., Small, M. J., & Casman, E. A. (2017). Making Sense of the Noise: The Effect of Streamflow Conditions on Silver Carp eDNA Detection in the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS). Science of the Total Environment, 605-606:713-720.
  2. E.A. Casman and M. G. Morgan, “Use of Expert Judgment to Bound Lung Cancer Risks,” Environmental Science & Technology, 2005, 39(16): 5911-5920.
  3. F. Wu, D. Miller and E. Casman, “Bt corn and Mycotoxin Reduction: an Economic Perspective,” in Aflatoxin and Food Safety, Hamed K. Abbas, ed., CRC Press. NY,pages 459-82, 2005.
  4. M. Ha-Duong, E. A. Casman, and M. G. Morgan, “Bounding Poorly Characterized Risks: a Lung Cancer Example,” Risk Analysis, 24(5):1071-83. Associated correspondence:  E.A. Casman, M. Ha-Duong, and M. G. Morgan (2004) “Response to Sander Greenland’s critique of bounding analysis,” Risk Analysis, 2004, 24(5):1093-5.
  5. M.P. Krayer von Krauss, E.A. Casman, M.J. Small, “Elicitation of expert judgments of uncertainty in the risk assessment of herbicide tolerant oilseed crops,” Risk Analysis, 2004, 24(6):1515-1527.
  6. F. Wu, D. Miller and E. Casman, "The Economic Impact of Bt Corn Resulting from Mycotoxin Reduction" Journal of Toxicology – Toxin Reviews, Aflatoxin and Food Safety Part II, 23(2/3): 397-424, 2004.
  7. E. A. Casman, M. G. Morgan, and H. Dowlatabadi, "Mixed Levels of Uncertainty in Complex Policy Models", Risk Analysis, 19(1):33-42, 1999


  1. Hamilton, M., Hong, T., Casman, E.A., Gurian, P.L. (2015) Risk-based decision making for reoccupation of contaminated areas following a wide-area anthrax release. Risk Analysis, 35(7):1348-63.DOI: 10.1111/risa.12383
  2. Barrett, A. M., & Casman, E. A. (2013). Should cities invest in sheltering-in-place measures against chlorine truck attacks by terrorists? Risk Analysis, 33(5), 931-944.
  3. M. B. Dias, L. Reyes-Gonzales, F. Veloso, and E. Casman, “Effect of Anti-Bioterrorism Legislation on Bacillus anthracis and Ebola Virus Research in the United States,” Proceedings of the National Academy of Science USA,107(21):9556-9561, 2010.
  4. J. Xu, P. Fischbeck, M. Small, J. VanBriesen, E. Casman, Closure to ‘Identifying Sets of Key Nodes for Placing Sensors in Dynamic Water Distribution Networks’ by Jianhua Xu, Paul S. Fischbeck, Mitchell J. Small, Jeanne M. VanBriesen, and Elizabeth Casman, J. Water Resources Planning and Management, 136(2):295-296, 2010
  5. D.P. Durham and E. A. Casman, “Threshold Conditions for Bubonic Plague Persistence in Urban Rats,” Risk Analysis, 29(12):1655-1663, 2009.
  6. E. Casman and B. Fischhoff, “Risk Communication Planning for the Aftermath of a Plague Bioattack,” Risk Analysis, 28(5):1327-1342, 2008.
  7. E. Casman, “Syndromic Surveillance,” Issues in Science and Technology,21(4):8-8, 2005.

Courses Taught

  • 19-710 Environmental Regulation and Policy for Manmade Nanomaterials, Fall of odd numbered years
  • 19-451 (cross-listed as 88-222 and 90-720) EPP Project Course, SDS Policy Analysis Senior Project, Applied Policy Analysis, Spring semesters
  • 19-752 EPP Project Management, Spring semesters

Students Supervised

Current EPP Ph.D. Students

  • Octavio Mesner

Former Ph.D. Students

  • Dena Asta
  • Amy Dale
  • M. Beatrice Dias
  • David P. Durham
  • Jose Alfredo Galvan Galvan
  • Jeremy Gernand
  • Sean T. Green
  • Austin Mitchell
  • Amy Wesolowski
  • Felicia Wu-Morris

Research Interests

Environmental and human health implications of manmade nanomaterials; Risk management for the environmental and human health impacts of unconventional natural gas development; Infectious disease transmission; Water resources; Risk analysis and risk communication; Biosecurity.