Originally from Medellin - Colombia, Paulina Jaramillo is a naturalized citizen of the U.S., where she has lived more than half her life. She is currently a professor of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU). Jaramillo is also a fellow of the Scott Institute for Energy Innovation and Research at CMU and a research affiliate of the Kigali Collaborative Research Center. She also holds a courtesy appointment in CMU Africa. Finally, Jaramillo is a lead author for the IPCC’s 6th Assessment Report as part of Working Group III.

Jaramillo’s past research focused on life cycle assessment of energy systems with an emphasis on climate change impacts and mitigation research. As a professor at CMU, she is currently involved in multi-disciplinary research projects to better understand the social, economic, and environmental implications of policy-driven changes in the operations of the energy system. Over the past five years, her research and education efforts have expanded to include issues related to energy access and development in the Global South. She has also worked to incorporate values and beliefs in energy planning in historically disenfranchised communities and to understand the implications of energy access in gender equity.

Jaramillo’s interest in energy for the Global South stems from her firm belief that what happens in developing countries as they try to provide energy that supports development will have profound implications in global environmental systems. There is an opportunity, however, to build sustainable and equitable modern energy systems that benefit from decades of technological development and experience elsewhere while accounting for local conditions and stakeholder interests. Through her research, Jaramillo aims to create the knowledge that will be required to meet global energy needs and climate mitigation efforts.

Google Scholar
Paulina Jaramillo
Paulina Jaramillo’s ORCID

Building Open Access Energy System Models

Sustainable Energy Access in the Developing World


2007 Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

2004 MS, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Carnegie Mellon University

2003 BS, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Florida International University

Media mentions

Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation News

Engineering faculty engage in industrial decarbonization research partnership

MSE’s Chris Pistorius and EPP’s Valerie Karplus and Paulina Jaramillo, alongside Assistant Professor of Economics and Public Policy Edson Severnini, joined collaborators in Germany to begin an international research partnership.

Scott Institute

Three CMU energy projects receive Scott Institute Seed Grants

Three CMU-led energy projects have been awarded seed grants from the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation.

Carnegie Mellon University Africa

Energy course continuum: a CMU-Africa and Pittsburgh collaboration

Barry Rawn and his colleagues teach a continuum of seven alternative energy courses to both CMU-Africa and Pittsburgh students.

CMU Engineering

Improving air quality in Africa

CMU-Africa, CMU-Pittsburgh, and global collaborators create an air quality testing center in Ghana with new funding from the Clean Air Fund.

Yale Climate Connections

Jaramillo quoted on hydropower research

EPP’s Paulina Jaramillo was quoted on her research exploring hydropower’s potential as a renewable energy source in Sub-Saharan Africa. “Solar is not available at night, but hydro could be,” Jaramillo told Yale Climate Connections.

the Manufacturing Futures Institute

Guiding the clean energy transition

MFI showcased the future of advanced manufacturing and sustainable practices during the Global Clean Energy Action Forum.

Engineering faculty receive NSF funding for decarbonization research

A decarbonization project led by EPP’s Valerie Karplus has received a $1.5 million research grant from the National Science Foundation that runs from 2023 to 2025. Karplus’ collaborators are MSE’s Chris Pistorius, EPP’s Paulina Jaramillo, and EPP’s Edson Severnini.

CMU Engineering

Engineering faculty featured in events at GCEAF

Many faculty from across the College of Engineering will be featured at events during this year’s Global Clean Energy Action Forum.

Popular Science

Jaramillo discusses Henry Ford’s renewable energy predictions

EPP’s Paulina Jaramillo talked to Popular Science about Henry Ford’s predictions on the future of renewable energy in the US. She says in part, “What Ford described became the suburbs we developed in the middle of the last century.”

Scientific American

Jarmillo quoted on White House climate goals

EPP’s Paulina Jaramillo quoted in Scientific American on her expertise in the social, economic, and environmental implications of energy consumption.

Nature Climate Change

Jaramillo publishes research on future of hydropower in Africa

EPP’s Paulina Jaramillo has co-authored a study that examines the role of hydropower as an energy source in Africa in the near and distant future while considering its environmental impact

Popular Science

Jaramillo quoted on sustainable flying solutions

EPP’s Paulina Jaramillo spoke to Popular Science about the limitations of making flying more sustainable, noting that many proposed solutions are in the early stages of development.