Professor Costa Samaras
Constantine (Costa) Samaras is an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Affiliated Faculty in the Energy Science, Technology and Policy Program at Carnegie Mellon University. His research spans energy, climate change, automation, and defense analysis. Costa analyzes how energy technology and infrastructure system designs affect energy use and national security, resilience to climate change impacts, economic and innovation outcomes, and life cycle environmental externalities. He directs the Center for Engineering and Resilience for Climate Adaptation and is Co-Director of the Power Sector Carbon Index. He is a fellow in Carnegie Mellon's Scott Institute for Energy Innovation and by courtesy, a faculty member in both the Department of Engineering and Public Policy and CMU's H. John Heinz III College of Information Systems and Public Policy.
Costa is also an Adjunct Senior Researcher at the RAND Corporation, a Professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School, and a Non-Resident Fellow of the Payne Institute for Earth Resources at the Colorado School of Mines. He served on a National Academies Committee evaluating the Department of Energy's advanced transportation energy research portfolio, serves as the incoming chair of the ASCE Committee on Adaptation to a Changing Climate, and serves on both the Alternative Transportation Fuels and Technologies Committee and the Energy Committee of the Transportation Research Board. He has published numerous studies examining electric and autonomous vehicles, renewable electricity, transitions in the energy sector, climate resilience, was a contributor to the 4th National Climate Assessment, and was one of the Lead Author contributors to the Global Energy Assessment. Costa has also led analyses on energy security, strategic basing, and infrastructure issues faced by the Department of Defense. He regularly provides commentary to online, print, radio, and television media, and his comments have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Wall Street Journal, NPR, The Atlantic, WIRED, and other outlets. He has presented his research to senior appointed governmental leaders, former Cabinet Secretaries, senior federal and military decisionmakers, Congress Members and professional staff, and the leadership of major utilities, automotive companies and technology firms. He was named Professor of the Year for 2018 by the Pittsburgh Section of the American Society of Civil Engineers. From 2009 to 2014 he was a RAND Corporation researcher, most recently as a Senior Engineer. From 2008 to 2009 he was a post-doctoral fellow in the Climate Decisionmaking Center at Carnegie Mellon, working on electric transportation and low-carbon technology policy. From 1999 to 2004 he was an engineer working on several multibillion-dollar infrastructure megaprojects in New York, including the extension of the Number 7 subway line in Manhattan, and also worked on the rebuilding of the subway line underneath of the World Trade Center after the attacks of September 11, 2001. He is also a FAA-Certified Drone Pilot.
Costa received a joint Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy and from Carnegie Mellon, a M.P.A. in Public Policy from the Wagner Graduate School of Public Service at New York University, and a B.S. in Civil Engineering from Bucknell University.