Carnegie Mellon University

Constantine Samaras

Constantine Samaras

Associate Professor
Engineering & Public Policy (courtesy) and Civil and Environmental Engineering
(EPP '08)

5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


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 spans energy, climate change, automation, and defense analysis. Costa analyzes how energy technology and infrastructure system designs affect energy use and national security, resiliency to climate change impacts, economic and innovation outcomes, and life cycle environmental externalities. He directs the Center for Engineering and Resilience for Climate Adaptation and is Co-Director of the Power Sector Carbon Index. He is a fellow in Carnegie Mellon's Scott Institute for Energy Innovation and a non-resident fellow in the Payne Institute for Earth Resources at the Colorado School of Mines. He is 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.

Costa is also an Adjunct Senior Researcher at the RAND Corporation, a Professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, and a Non-Resident Fellow of the Payne Institute for Earth Resources at the Colorado School of Mines. He served on a National Academies Committee evaluating the Department of Energy's advanced transportation energy research portfolio,  serves on the ASCE Committee on Adaptation to a Changing Climate, and serves on both the Alternative Transportation Fuels and Technologies Committee and the Energy Committee of the Transportation Research Board. He has published numerous studies examining electric and autonomous vehicles, renewable electricity, transitions in the energy sector, conventional and low-carbon fuels, and was one of the Lead Author contributors to the Global Energy Assessment. Costa has also led analyses on energy security, strategic basing, and infrastructure issues faced by the Department of Defense. 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. 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 of 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 and from Carnegie Mellon, a M.P.A. 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.


PhD 2008 - Carnegie Mellon University
MPA 2004 - New York University
BS 1999 - Bucknell University


Research Group: EESSAIS

  • Infrastructure systems design and resiliency for climate change impacts under uncertainty
  • Systems and infrastructure impacts of the transition to autonomous vehicles 
  • Analysis of alternative and conventional electricity and fuels
  • Environmental life cycle assessment and policy
  • Low-carbon energy system transitions and emissions intensity
  • National security implications of energy policy and climate change impacts
  • Energy and infrastructure innovation and R&D investments


Cook L.M., Anderson, C.J., Samaras, C. (2017). Framework for Incorporating Downscaled Climate Output into Existing Engineering Methods: Application to Precipitation Frequency Curves. Journal of Infrastructure Systems. 23(4), 04017027.

Harper, C., Mangones, S., Hendrickson, C., Samaras, C. (2016). Estimating Potential Increases in Travel with Autonomous Vehicles for the Non-Driving, Elderly and People with Travel-Restrictive Medical Conditions, Transportation Research Part C: Emerging Technologies, Volume 72, November 2016, 1-9. 

Olsen, J.R. et al., (2015). "Adapting Infrastructure and Civil Engineering Practice to a Changing Climate." Committee on Adaptation to a Changing Climate, American Society of Civil Engineers. ISBN 978-0-7844-7919-3.

Abrahams, L. S., Samaras, C., Griffin, W. M., & Matthews, H. S. (2015). Life Cycle Greenhouse Gas Emissions From US Liquefied Natural Gas Exports: Implications for End Uses. Environmental Science & Technology, 49(5), 3237-3245

Abramzon, S., Samaras, C., Curtright, A., Litovitz, A., Burger, N. (2014). "Estimating the Consumptive Use Costs of Shale Natural Gas Extraction on Pennsylvania Roadways." Journal of Infrastructure Systems, 10.1061/(ASCE)IS.1943-555X.0000203 , 06014001.

Anderson, J., Kalra, N., Stanley, K., Sorensen, P., Samaras, C., Oluwatola, O. Autonomous Vehicle Technology: A Guide for Policymakers, Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation, RR-443-RC, 2014.

Samaras, C., Willis, H.H, 2013. Capabilities-Based Planning for Energy Security at Department of Defense Installations, RAND Corporation, RR-162-RC, Santa Monica, CA.

Litovitz, A., Curtright, A., Abramzon, S., Burger, N., Samaras, C. 2013. Estimating regional air-quality damages from Marcellus Shale natural gas extraction in Pennsylvania. Environmental Research Letters,8 014017.

Michalek, J.J., Chester, M., Jaramillo, P., Samaras, C., Shiau, C-S.,N., Lave, L.B. 2011. Valuation of Plug-in Vehicle Life Cycle Air Emissions and Oil Displacement Benefits. Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences of the United States of America. 108(40) 16554-16558.

Weber, C., Jaramillo, P., Marriott, J., Samaras, C., 2010. Life cycle assessment of grid electricity: What do we know and what can we know? Environmental Science and Technology, 44(6) 1895-1901.

Samaras C., Meisterling, K., 2008. Life cycle assessment of greenhouse gas emissions from plug-in hybrid vehicles: Implications for policy.  Environmental Science and Technology. 42(9) 3170-3176.