Carnegie Mellon University

Erica R.H. Fuchs

Erica R.H. Fuchs

Professor, Engineering and Public Policy

Department of Engineering and Public Policy
Carnegie Mellon University
5000 Forbes Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA 15213


  • Carnegie Mellon 2007-

Erica R.H. Fuchs is a Professor in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University, and a Research Associate with the National Bureau of Economic Research. Her research focuses on the development, commercialization and global manufacturing of emerging technologies, and national policy in that context. She was the founding Faculty Director of Carnegie Mellon University’s Manufacturing Futures Initiative – an initiative across six schools aimed to revolutionize the commercialization and local production of advanced manufactured products. Over the past decade, Dr. Fuchs has played a growing role in national and international meetings on technology policy, including being one of 23 participants in the President’s Council of Advisors on Science and Technology workshop that led to the creation of the Advanced Manufacturing Partnership, and serving on the expert group that supported the White House in the 2016 Innovation Dialogue between the U.S. and China. In 2012 she was selected a World Economic Forum “Young Scientist” (top 40 under 40 globally.)  She currently serves on the M.I.T. Corporation’s Visiting Committee for M.I.T.’s Institute for Data, Systems, and Society, of which M.I.T.’s Technology Policy Program is a part; and on the Advisory Editorial Board for Research Policy. Before coming to CMU, Dr. Fuchs completed her Ph.D. in Engineering Systems at M.I.T. in June 2006. She received her Masters and her Bachelors degrees also from M.I.T. in Technology Policy (2003) and Materials Science and Engineering (1999), respectively. Dr. Fuchs spent 1999-2000 as a fellow at the United Nations in Beijing, China. She grew up and attended K-12 in the Reading Public School District in Reading, PA. Her work has been published among other places in Science, the Nature journals, Research Policy, and Management Science; and has been covered on National Public Radio, by Bloomberg, and in the New York Times.


  • Ph.D. (Engineering Systems), 2006, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • S.M. (Technology Policy), 2003, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • S.B. (Materials Science and Engineering), 1999, Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Global Manufacturing and the Technical Frontier

Combemale, C., Whitefoot, K., Fuchs, E. 2021. Not all Technologies are Equal: How the Separability of Tasks Mediates the Effect of Technological Change on Skill Demand. Industrial and Corporate Change. Accepted. Industry Studies Best Paper Award.

Fuchs, E., Combemale, C., Orr, A., Whitefoot, K. 2019. The Weighty Manufacturing Sector: Challenges Transforming from Raw Materials to Physical Products in the Innovation Economy.  Beyond 140 Characters: The Role of Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Economic Growth. Edited Volume. Eds Scott Stern, Aaron Chatterji, and Josh Lerner. National Bureau of Economic Research.

Yang, C., Nugent, R., and Fuchs, E. 2016. Gains from Other’s Losses: Technology Trajectories and the Global Division of Firms. Research Policy. 54(3): 724-745.

Fuchs, E. 2014. Global Manufacturing and the Future of Technology. Science. 345(6196): 519-520. 

Fuchs, E., Field, F., Roth, R., and Kirchain, R. 2011. Plastic Cars in China? The Signifiance of Production Location over Markets for Technology Competitiveness in the United States versus the People’s Republic of China.  International Journal of Production Economics. 132(2011): 79-92.

Fuchs, E., and Kirchain, R. 2010. Design for Location?: The Impact of Manufacturing Off-Shore on Technology Competitiveness in the Optoelectronics Industry. Management Science, 56(12): 2323-2349.

Veloso, Francisco and Fuchs, E. 2002. The Future of the Asian Auto Industry: Regional Integration, Alternative Designs, and Chinese Leadership. International Journal of Vehicle Design. 35(1): 111-136.

Manufacturing Variety
(See also papers on additive manufacturing in Role of Government and Accelerating Commercialization)

Laureijs, R., Fuchs, E. Whitefoot, K. 2019. Is More Less: Benefits and Costs of High Variety Production in Non-Assembled Production Environments. ASME Journal of Mechanical Design. Accepted. Forthcoming. doi:10.111.5/1.4041943

Engelman, C., Epple, D., Argote, L., and Fuchs, E. 2016. Learning by Doing in a Multi-Product Manufacturing Environment: Product Variety, Customizations, and Overlapping Product Generations. NBER Working paper No 19674. Management Science. 63(2):405-423. http://

Role of Government at the Technical Frontier

Fuchs, E., Karplus, V., Kalathil, N., Morgan, G. 2020. To respond to the pandemic, the government needs better data on domestic companies that make critical medical supplies.  Issues in Science and Technology. December 18, 2020. 

Bonnin-Roca, J., Vaishnav, P., Mendoca, J., Morgan, G., Fuchs, E. 2020. Technology Forgiveness: Why emerging Technologies differ in their resilience to institutional stability. Technology Forecasting and Social Change. Accepted. 

Helveston, J., Karplus, V., Wang, Y., and Fuchs, E. 2019. Institutional Complementarities: The (Unlikely) Origins of Experimentation in China’s Plus-In Electric Vehicle Industry. Research Policy. Vol 48. Issue 1. February 2019, 206-222  Industry Studies Association Best Paper Award.

Azoulay, P, Goldstein, A., Kearney, M., Fuchs, E. 2018. Funding Breakthrough Research: Promises and Challenges of the “ARPA Model.” National Bureau of Economic Research (NBER). Innovation Policy and the Economy Series. Editors Scott Stern and Josh Lerner. MIT Press. Volume 19.

Khan, H., Hounshell, D. and Fuchs, E. 2018. Science Policy for the End of Moore’s Law. Nature Electronics. Vol. 1. January 2018, 14-21.  (Accepted Nov 15, 2017)

Bonnin-Roca, J., Vaishnav, P., Mendoca, J., Morgan, G., Fuchs, E. 2017. When Risks Cannot be Seen: Fostering the (safe) introduction of Metal Additive Manufacturing in Commercial Aviation. Research Policy. vol. 46, issue 7, 1215-1233

Fuchs, P., Xue, L., Zheng, P., Gallagher, K., Cowhey, P., Fuchs, E. 2017. Why China Needs Data Sharing to Address It’s Air Quality Challenge. National Science Review. nwx059,

Bonnin-Roca, J., Vaishnav, P., Fuchs, E., and Morgan, G. 2016. Additive Manufacturing: Policy Needed. Nature Materials. 15, 815–818. doi:10.1038/nmat4658

Ventura, S., Nugent, R., and Fuchs, E. 2015.  Seeing the Non-Stars: (Some) Sources of Bias in Past Disambiguation Approaches and a New Public Tools Leveraging Labeled Records. Research Policy. Special Issue on Data. 44(9): 1672-1701. (Disambiguation challenges in the United States Patent and Trademark Office Database)

Helveston, J.,  Liu, Y., Feit, E., Fuchs, E., Klampfl, E., and Michalek, J. 2015.  Will subsidies drive electric vehicle adoption in China and the U.S.? Transportation Research Part A: Policy and Practice. 73: March 2015 pp. 96-112. 

Woolley, A. and Fuchs, E. 2011. Collective Intelligence in the Organization of Science, Invited Paper. Special Issue on New Directions in Organization Science. Organization Science. 22(5): 1359-1367.

Fuchs, E. 2010. Rethinking the Role of the State in Technology Development: DARPA and the Case for Embedded Network Governance, Lead article. Research Policy, 39(2010): 1133-1147.

Fuchs, E.  2009. Cloning DARPA Successfully. Issues in Science and Technology. Volume XXVI. Number 1. Fall 2009.

Accelerating Commercialization at the Technical Frontier
(see also Design for Location and Plastic Cars in China under Global Manufacturing)

Funk, P., Vaishnav, P., White, B., Davis, A., Fuchs, E. 2020. Individual inconsistency and aggregate rationality: Overcoming inconsistencies in expert judgment at the technical frontier.  Technology Forecasting and Social Change. 155: 119984

Bonnin-Roca, J., Vaishnav, P., Mendoca, J., Fuchs, E. 2019. Technology cost drivers for a potential transition to decentralized manufacturing. Additive Manufacturing.

Sakti, A., Azevedo, I., Fuchs, E., Michalek, J., Gallagher, K., and Whitacre, J. 2017. Consistency and robustness of forecasting for emerging technologies: The case of Li-ion batteries for electric vehicles. Energy Policy. Vol 106, July 2017, p. 415-426.

 Laureijs, R., Bonnin-Roca, J., Prabha Narra, S., Montgomery, C., Beuth, J., Fuchs, E. 2017. Metal Additive Manufacturing: Cost Competitive Beyond Low Volumes. ASME Journal of Manufacturing Science and Engineering. 139(8), 081010 (May 10, 2017) (9 pages) doi: 10.1115/1.4035420

Sakti, A., Michalek, J., Fuchs, E., and Whitacre, J. 2014. A techno-economic analysis and optimization of Li-ion batteries for personal vehicle electrification. Journal of Power Sources. 273: January 2015 pp. 966-980. 10.1016/j.jpowsour.2016.09.072

Fuchs, E., Kirchain, R., and Liu, S. 2011. The Future of Silicon Photonics – Not So Fast?: Insights from 100G Ethernet LAN Transceivers. Journal of Lightwave Technology. 29(15): 2319-2326.

 Fuchs, E., Field, F., Roth, R., and Kirchain, R. 2008. Strategic Materials Selection in the Automotive Body: Economic Opportunities for Polymer Composite Design. Composite Science and Technology. 68(9): 1989-2002.

Fuchs, E., Bruce, E., Ram, R., and Kirchain, R. 2006. Process-Based Cost Modeling of Photonics Manufacture: The Cost-Competitiveness of Monolithic Integration of a 1550nm DFB Laser and an Electro-Absorptive Modulator on an InP Platform. Journal of Lightwave Technology. 24(8): 3175-3186.


Fuchs, E. and Johnsson, P. 2000. Inclusion Characteristics in Bearing Steel and During Ingot Casting. High Temperature Materials and Processes. 19(5): 333-344


Global Manufacturing and the Technical Frontier

L., Combemale, C., Fuchs, E., Whitefoot, K. 2021. How It’s Made: A General Theory of the Labor Implications of Technological Change

Manufacturing Variety

Laureijs, R., Syversen, C., Fuchs, E., and Whitefoot, K. Mix and Match: Exploring Person-Product Match Effects in High Variety Manufacturing.

Treado, C. and Fuchs, E. Manufacturing Variety: Scale Economies in a Low-Volume High Mix Environment.

Role of Government in the Technical Frontier

Khan, H., Hounshell, D. and Fuchs, E. 2017. Scaling Moore’s Wall: A Public Private Partnership in Search of a Technological Revolution. Revise and Resubmit. Research Policy.

Accelerating Commercialization at the Technical Frontier



(Committee Member.) 2017. An Assessment of ARPA-E. Science Technology and Economic Policy (STEP) Board. National Academy of Sciences.

(Committee Member.) 2013. Optics and Photonics: Essential Technologies for Our Nation. Board of Manufacturing and Engineering Design, National Materials Advisory Board, National Academy of Sciences.


Fuchs, Erica R.H., Testimony. Hearing on Trade, Manufacturing, and Critical Supply Chains: Lessons from COVID-19. House Ways & Means Committee. Subcommittee on trade. July 23, 2020. Written Testimony | Oral Remarks | Video Recording of Full Hearing

Fuchs, E.
, Karplus, V., Kalathil, N., Morgan, G. 2020. Inadequate Data on Manufacturers of Critical Medical Supplies Weakens U.S. Capabilities for Pandemic Response. Testimony. U.S. International Trade Commission. Investigation No. 332-580. COVID-19 Related Goods: The U.S. Industry, Market, Trade, and Supply Chain Challenges. September 23, 2020. Prehearing Brief | Oral Remarks

Research Interests

Global manufacturing; technology development and commercialization, innovation policy.