Valerie Karplus is a professor in the Department of Engineering and Public Policy.

Karplus studies resource and environmental management in organizations operating in diverse national and industry contexts, with a focus on the role of institutions and management practices in explaining performance. Areas of expertise include decarbonization of global corporate and industrial supply chains, regional approaches to low carbon transition, and the integrated design and evaluation of energy, air quality, and climate policies. Karplus has taught courses on public policy analysis, global business strategy and organization, entrepreneurship, and the political economy of energy transitions. At CMU, she runs the Laboratory for Energy and Organizations at the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, where she is a faculty affiliate. Karplus is also a faculty affiliate of the MIT Energy Initiative, the MIT Center for Energy and Environmental Policy Research, and the MIT Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change.

She has previously worked in the development policy section of the German Federal Foreign Office in Berlin, Germany, as a Robert Bosch Foundation Fellow, and in the biotechnology industry in Beijing, China, as a Luce Scholar. From 2011 to 2016, she co-founded and directed the MIT-Tsinghua China Energy and Climate Project, a five-year research effort focused on analyzing the design of energy and climate change policy in China, and its domestic and global impacts. Karplus previously served on the faculty at the MIT Sloan School of Management.

Karplus holds a BS in biochemistry and political science from Yale University and a Ph.D. in engineering systems from MIT.

Baker/Porter Hall


Ph.D., Engineering Systems, MIT

B.S., Biochemistry and Political Science, Yale University

Research Interests

Media mentions

Times West Virginian

Karplus talks West Virginia energy revolution

EPP’s Valerie Karplus spoke to the Times West Virginian about Engines, a collaborative research project with West Virginia University and the University of Pittsburgh that aims to reimagine West Virginia’s energy landscape.

CMU Engineering

CMU partners to reimagine energy in the region

Faculty from Carnegie Mellon University will collaborate with West Virginia University and University of Pittsburgh on a National Science Foundation Regional Innovation Engines program.


Morgan and Karplus talk carbon capture facilities

EPP’s Granger Morgan and Valerie Karplus talk about streamlining the process of building carbon capture facilities with Earth.Org. “Right now you’re looking at 6 to 10 years and up to 12 years, potentially, to get through all of these regulatory steps,” Karplus says.

CMU Engineering

Carnegie Mellon alumni fund climate adaptation research

Generous commitment from Yeming and Aaron Rankin will support research in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and the Scott Institute.

CMU Engineering

Quantifying barriers to establishing sequestration wells

Recent work from CMU researchers estimates the time required to develop, approve, and implement a carbon capture and sequestration site and provides insights into how this timeframe could be reduced.

CMU Engineering

New leadership for the Scott Institute for Energy Innovation

Costa Samaras has been named the next Director of the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation, and Valerie Karplus will serve as the Associate Director of the Scott Institute.

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.

CMU Engineering

Karplus publishes review on the politics of environmental policy

Valerie Karplus has co-authored a review in Nature Sustainability on political strategies for achieving environmental policy goals.

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.

The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Karpus talks replacing carbon in industry

EPP’s Valerie Karplus spoke with the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette about how companies might find carbon alternatives amid the passing of national legislation that earmarks $5 billion for methods like hydrogen and carbon capture. “Each secondary industry has an opportunity to figure out where the carbon is in their processes and kind of think through what changes are needed to reduce that carbon,” she says.