Allen L. Robinson is the David and Susan Coulter Head and Raymond J. Lane Distinguished University 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).

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Allen Robinson

The Role of AI and Machine Learning in Mechanical Engineering

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

Ultrafine and ultra-toxic?

First nationwide ultrafine particle study paves the way for understanding health effects and revisiting government regulation.

Pennsylvania Capital-Star

Robinson op-ed on methane regulation published

MechE Head Allen Robinson published an opinion piece in the Pennsylvania Capital-Star on the importance of closing loopholes when regulating methane emissions.

Mechanical Engineering

MechE Magazine 2021

“We tell our students that we’re preparing them to solve real world challenges... and this is as real as it gets.” The latest issue of MechE Magazine reflects on a year of agility and resilience with optimism for the future.

Shared Air

Robinson interviewed on Shared Air

MechE Head Allen Robinson was a guest on Shared Air, a podcast created by MechE’s Albert Presto and Rose Eilenberg. The episode, named “Shale gas, revisited,” explores hydraulic fracking, methane leakage, aging infrastructure, air quality, and more.

U.S. News & World Report

Robinson quoted on engineering degrees

MechE Head Allen Robinson was quoted in U.S. News & World Report on what a student can do with a mechanical engineering degree.

American Association for Aerosol Research

Robinson recognized for aerosol research

MechE Head Allen Robinson has been awarded the AAAR David Sinclair award.

Mechanical Engineering

Robinson earns David Sinclair Award

The American Association for Aerosol Research has named Mechanical Engineering Department Head Allen Robinson the recipient of the David Sinclair Award, recognizing and celebrating Robinson's sustained excellence in aerosol research and technology.

Lancaster Online

Robinson published on EPA

MechE Head Allen Robinson published an op-ed on Lancaster Online about the EPA’s denial of science and the effect it has on Pennsylvanian methane pollution.

Mechanical Engineering

Robinson named University Professor

Department Head Allen Robinson has been elevated to the rank of University Professor, the highest distinction a faculty member can achieve at Carnegie Mellon University.


Presto quoted on pollution

MechE’s Albert Presto was quoted in WESA on pollution during the coronavirus pandemic. The original research was done by Presto and MechE Department Head Allen Robinson.

CMU Engineering

COVID and pollution

A team of Carnegie Mellon researchers found that Pittsburgh’s air pollution levels decreased during the stay-at-home order—but the overall impact remains small.


Robinson appointed university professor

MechE Department Head Allen Robinson was appointed a University Professor by Carnegie Mellon University.