Carnegie Mellon University

Affiliated Research Centers

The Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation is a campus-wide institute that spans all energy-related research and education across the Carnegie Mellon campus.  The institute is focused on addressing several complex challenges, including:
  • How to use the energy we already have far more efficiently.
  • How to expand the mix of energy sources in a way that is clean, reliable, affordable and sustainable.
  • How to create innovations in energy technologies, regulations and policies.

Decisions in climate and energy involve multiple factors that differ across the variety of decision-makers, time horizons, and uncertainties that are involved. They range from choosing among the multitude of strategies available to reduce carbon dioxide emissions over the next fifty years to how to decide which marine ecosystems to protect from an increase in the oceans’ pH levels. The center and its graduates will develop and promulgate new and innovative, behaviorally and technically informed insights involving the intersection points between climate and energy. It will also generate methods to frame, analyze, and assist key stakeholders in addressing important decisions regarding climate change and the necessary transformation of the world’s energy system. 

The Center for Climate and Energy Decision Making is co-directed by Granger Morgan and Inês Azevedo. 

Core funding for this Center comes from the Electric Power Research Institute, NSF, and the Department of Energy with additional funding from CEIC’s corporate members. CEIC's primary mission is to work with industry, government and other stakeholders to address the strategic problems of the electricity industry. In the process of doing so CEIC is producing a cadre of well-trained researchers, most of who continue to address the industry's problems during their subsequent professional careers. Areas of research include: Markets and Investment; Distributed Energy Resources; Advanced Generation, Transmission, and Environmental Issues; Reliability and Security; and, Demand Response. As of 2015, 56 Ph.D. dissertations have been completed under CEIC, and 26 PhD students are doing their thesis research in CEIC. 29 faculty from 8 CMU departments are affiliated with CEIC.

The Carnegie Mellon Electricity Industry Center (CEIC) is co-directed by Jay Apt and Granger Morgan

The Vehicle Electrification Group at Carnegie Mellon University was founded by Professor Jeremy Michalek and Professor Jay Whitacre in 2009 to study electrified vehicles, including hybrid electric vehicles, plug-in hybrid electric vehicles, and battery electric vehicles. The group studies various aspects of electric vehicles, including

  • Technology: Vehicle, battery, and electric power systems, design, control and optimization
  • Life-cycle: economic, environmental, and energy security implications
  • Consumer behavior: technology adoption and driver behavior
  • Public policy: policy-relevant technical findings and policy analysis

Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies (CAPS) strive to be world leaders in science, engineering, and policy covering the full role of fine particulate matter in the atmosphere. The goal of the center's research is to substantially advance the state of knowledge across this spectrum, and to provide both policy-relevant research and to participate directly and actively in the evolution of environmental policy related to particulate matter.

The Center for Computational Analysis of Social and Organization Systems brings together computer science, dynamic network analysis and the empirical study of complex socio-technical systems. Computational and social network techniques are combined to develop a better understanding of the fundamental principles of organizing, coordinating, managing and destabilizing systems of intelligent adaptive agents (human and artificial) engaged in real tasks at the team, organizational or social level. CASOS is a university wide center drawing on a group of world class faculty, students and research and administrative staff in multiple departments at Carnegie Mellon.
CyLab's research strategy is holistic. Seven areas of research and development have been designated, spanning a wide range of technologies, systems and users. Each project meets the criteria of one or more research areas, with an aim towards building cross-functional and multi-disciplinary solutions and leveraging cross-cutting skills from faculty across the university, such as policy development, risk management or modeling. The objective is to build a new generation of technologies that will lead to measurable, available, secure, trustworthy, and sustainable computing and communications systems, as well as associated management and policy tools that enable successful exploitation of the new technologies.

As the global population grows and standards of living improve, there will be increasing stress on the world's limited resources. Thus engineers of the future will be asked to use the earth's resources more efficiently and produce less waste, while at the same time satisfying an ever-increasing demand for goods and services. To prepare for such challenges, engineers will need to understand the impact of their decisions on built and natural systems, and must be adept at working closely with planners, decision makers, and the general public. the Center for Sustainable Engineering emphasizes these and related issues.

The Center for Sustainable Engineering (CSE) is a partnership among five universities: Syracuse University (lead institution), Arizona State University, and Georgia Institute of TechnologyCarnegie Mellon University and the University of Texas at Austin. Supported by the National Science Foundation and the Environmental Protection Agency, the Center is dedicated to helping engineering professors update their courses and develop new ones to account for rapidly changing world conditions that are transforming the practice of engineering.

With one-fifth of the world’s population, one-sixth of the world’s carbon emissions, and an economy likely to become the world’s largest within a decade or so, China is important to any study of contemporary global change. Researchers at CIS-HDGC and EPP pursue collaborative research with Chinese colleagues in a number of domains central to China’s energy, environment, and risk transitions. These include studies of the health impacts of air pollution, the history and effectiveness of air pollution policy, the social dimensions of energy technology choice, and the public perception of environment and technological risk.
The Green Design Institute is a major interdisciplinary education and research effort to make an impact on environmental quality by partnering with companies, government agencies and foundations to develop pioneering management, manufacturing, and regulatory processes that can improve environmental quality and product quality while enhancing economic development. The institute's focus is on developing practical pollution prevention technologies and lowering costs, by recycling scarce resources, using fewer raw materials and creating better products. EPP faculty members Mike Griffin and Paulina Jaramillo are co-Directors of the Green Design Institute, and Costa Samaras is the Research Director.
Carnegie Mellon scholars have developed a rich portfolio of research to provide a sound intellectual foundation for the study of technological change. Their investigations explore such topics as the origin and performance of new entrepreneurial ventures and the impetus for spin-off firms within industries. Such research also draws attention to the motives for the formation of firms, the migration of skills from one firm to another and the role of spin-offs in the regional agglomeration of industries such as automobiles and semiconductors. Carnegie Mellon University researchers engaged in this program also study the characteristics of university entrepreneurs, the impact of entrepreneurship on technical research, and the role of incentives in academic careers as spurs for commercial technology.
The CyLab Usable Privacy and Security Laboratory (CUPS) brings together researchers working on a diverse set of projects related to understanding and improving the usability of privacy and security software and systems. Our research employs a combination of three high-level strategies to make secure systems more usable: building systems that "just work" without involving humans in security-critical functions; making secure systems intuitive and easy to use; and teaching humans how to perform security-critical tasks.
The Behavior, Decision, and Policy Working Group at Carnegie Mellon University represent the social, behavioral, decision, economic, and engineering sciences. We are committed to advancing and applying basic research at the nexus of consumer behavior and energy consumption, providing the systematic, interdisciplinary approach demanded by technological interventions whose success depends on consumer behavior. We seek opportunities for strong studies, utilize theories stemming from the field of behavioral science, and develop replicable methodologies.
The main goals of the Center for Risk Perception and Communication are to bring together researchers interested in studying risk perception and risk communication, to establish a common framework within which these researchers can communicate and collaborate, and to bring our collective expertise to a diverse set of risk-related projects. A common approach shared by much of the research done at the Center for Risk Perception and Communication is the mental models methodology, which facilitates the integration of relevant information into a coherent "expert" model, and provides a robust procedure for the measurement of lay perceptions and the development and evaluation of communications.
In addition to its problem-focused research, the Department has long been involved in the development of advanced software tools to support quantitative policy analysis. Particularly important has been the development of the Demos system (now commercially distributed as AnalyticaTM), which is designed to support the easy incorporation and analysis of uncertainty in policy analysis. In the context of integrated environmental control processes and large-scale chemical plants, EPP researchers have developed generalized system analysis tools around the ASPEN simulator, which is used in chemical facilities all over the world. There has also been considerable recent work on developing advanced hypertext interfaces for complex policy models.