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).
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
Robinson published op-ed in Scientific American
MechE Head Allen Robinson published an opinion piece in Scientific American about air quality in the United States and the work that still needs to be done to improve it. ”There is emerging evidence of significant public health impacts of fine-particle pollution,” he noted. “More than 30,000 premature deaths could be avoided by tightening the standard—with greater impacts, on average, in counties that have lower incomes and higher poverty rates.”
Robinson on air quality studies
MechE Head Allen Robinson was quoted by WHYY about two recent studies about the impact of air quality. According to the studies, if air quality standards were tightened, thousands of lives could be saved from cardiovascular and respiratory diseases caused by pollution.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.