Allen L. Robinson is the David and Susan Coulter Head and Raymond J. Lane Distinguished Professor of the Department of Mechanical Engineering, and a professor within the Department of Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. He is the director of the EPA-funded Center for Air, Climate, and Energy Solutions (CACES).

Robinson’s research examines technical and policy issues related to the impact of emissions from energy systems on air quality and climate. His activities include process-oriented field and laboratory experiments, development and evaluation of mathematical models to describe atmospheric processes, exposure characterization, and the application of models for policy analysis and decision making. He teaches courses on graduate and undergraduate courses on thermodynamics, atmospheric chemistry, air pollution control, climate change mitigation, combustion, and air quality engineering.

Robinson joined Carnegie Mellon in 1998 after working for two years as a postdoctoral fellow at the Combustion Research Facility at Sandia National Laboratories. In 2009-2010, Robinson was a visiting faculty fellow at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science (CIRES) at the University of Colorado Boulder. In 2012 he was a professor at Colorado State University in the Departments of Atmospheric Science and Mechanical Engineering, before returning to Carnegie Mellon as department head of Mechanical Engineering.

Robinson received his Ph.D. from the University of California at Berkeley in Mechanical Engineering in 1996 and his B.S. in Civil Engineering from Stanford University in 1990. Robinson received the George Tallman Ladd Outstanding Young Faculty Award from Carnegie Mellon University in 2000, the Ahrens Career Development Chair in Mechanical Engineering from Carnegie Mellon University in 2005, the Raymond J. Lane Distinguished Professorship in 2013, and the American Geophysical Union ASCENT award in 2015. He is also the former president and an elected fellow of the American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR).

401 Scaife Hall
Google Scholar
Allen Robinson

Vehicle Emissions: Effects on Air Quality

Improved Cook Stoves: Effects on Air Quality


1996 Ph.D., Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley

1993 MS, Mechanical Engineering, University of California, Berkeley

1990 BS, Civil Engineering, Stanford University

Media mentions

CMU Engineering

Saving lives with cleaner air

More than 30,000 U.S. lives could be saved by reducing air pollution levels below the current air quality standard, two studies from the Center for Air Quality, Climate, and Energy Solutions find.

90.5 WESA

Robinson discusses Pittsburgh’s air quality with 90.5 WESA

The American Lung Association listed Pittsburgh among the 10 most polluted in the country. To get a better sense of the story, 90.5 WESA’s Liz Reid spoke with MechE Head Allen Robinson about Pittsburgh’s changing air quality.

CMU Engineering

Could U.S. wildfires be contributing to heart disease?

U.S. wildfires pose a serious threat to human health—and not just in the area of the burn.


Robinson agrees Pittsburgh air quality is complicated

MechE’s Allen Robinson was recently quoted by WESA about Pittsburgh’s ranking among the top 10 most polluted cities. Robinson agrees that Pittsburgh’s ranking does not tell the whole story, and he’s working to get a clearer picture of the city’s air quality.


Robinson discusses US Steel’s pledge to improve clean air practices

MechE Head Allen Robinson spoke on WESA about US Steel’s pledge to work toward compliance with the Clean Air Act at its Clairton Coke Works plant.

The Washington Post

Robinson says new studies are good news for PA groundwater

MechE Head Allen Robinson spoke with The Washington Post on several recent studies that have found that oil and natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania have had little impact on the state’s groundwater supplies.

Mechanical Engineering

Robinson discovers huge methane emitters

MechE Head Allen Robinson was part of a team that uncovered how the supply chains conveying US oil and natural gas emit methane and put forth suggestions to fix such an issue.

CMU Engineering

The great escape: super emitters

Allen Robinson and collaborators working with the Environmental Defense Fund find more methane is leaking from natural gas production than previously measured.

State Impact

Robinson comments on EDF report about methane pollution in PA

Scientists, including MechE's Allen Robinson, who reviewed the Environmental Defense Fund's (EDF) report about methane pollution in Pennsylvania say it's consistent with previous findings.

CMU Engineering

College of Engineering's 2017 game changers

From engineering new materials to constructing smart systems, researchers in the College of Engineering are innovating for the future. Read some of our highlights from 2017.

CMU Engineering

Deceptively clean vehicle emissions

Researchers in the College of Engineering found that newer gasoline vehicles emit less particulate matter, but vapors in the “cleaner” exhaust form particulate matter in the atmosphere long after exiting the tailpipe.

International Business Times

Robinson’s research on vehicle emissions featured

MechE Head Allen Robinson and his colleagues recently published a paper in which they investigated the formation of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) from the exhaust of gasoline vehicles in urban areas.