Carnegie Mellon University
January 09, 2013

Press Release: Carnegie Mellon's College of Engineering Names Allen L. Robinson To Head Dynamic Mechanical Engineering Department

Mechanical Engineering Professor Tapped To Lead Department for Novel Research That Improves Policy Assessments of Air Pollution and Global Climate

Contact: Chriss Swaney / 412-268-5776 /

Allen RobinsonPITTSBURGH—Carnegie Mellon University's College of Engineering has named Allen L. Robinson head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, effective Feb. 15. He succeeds Nadine Aubry, who left in July to become dean of the College of Engineering at Northeastern University.

"I am both thrilled and honored to be named to lead such a talented and diverse team of academic professionals. I look forward to continuing the outstanding research and educational leadership so endemic to the field of mechanical engineering," said Robinson, who is currently a professor in the departments of Atmospheric Science and Mechanical Engineering at Colorado State University.

Prior to joining the faculty at Colorado State, Robinson was on the faculty at CMU's College of Engineering for 14 years with a joint appointment in the departments of Mechanical Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy. As a professor at CMU, he served as chair of the graduate committee in mechanical engineering, helping to implement a direct Ph.D. program and to substantially grow the masters program. Robinson also is one of the founders of the Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies, a multidisciplinary center involving faculty and students from the College of Engineering and the Mellon College of Science.

"I am very pleased that Allen will join the college leadership team as the new department head of mechanical engineering. His reputation for high quality research, passion for teaching undergrads and graduates, commitment to professional service and collegiality make him an excellent choice for this position," said James H. Garrett, Jr., dean of CMU's top-ranked College of Engineering and the Thomas Lord Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering.

Robinson's novel research has transformed how scientists, engineers and policymakers view fine particle emissions from cars, trucks, wildfires and other combustion processes. Over the past several years, Robinson has led the development of a major new research thrust to quantify how unconventional gas development impacts the climate and air quality.

From 2008 to 2010, Robinson served as treasurer for the American Association for Aerosol Research, leading the development of an endowment policy for the organization. He also currently serves on several professional boards, including the Health Effects Institute Research Committee, the Environmental Protection Agency Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) Air Monitoring and Methods Subcommittee, the editorial advisory board of "Aerosol Science and Technology" and the editorial board of "Progress in Energy and Combustion Science."

The winner of many academic accolades, he received the CIT Outstanding Research Award in 2010, the Ahrens Career Development Chair in Mechanical Engineering in 2005 and the George Tallman Ladd Outstanding Young Faculty Award in 2000. In 2009, he was awarded a fellowship from the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science at the University of Colorado, allowing him to spend a year studying air quality and climate at NOAA in Boulder.

Robinson holds a bachelor's degree in civil engineering from Stanford University (1990), and a master's degree (1993) and Ph.D. (1966) in mechanical engineering from the University of California at Berkeley.

He is married to Kathy Lachenauer and they have two sons: Jack, 12, and Gus, 10.