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

Media mentions

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.

CMU Engineering

Team builds tools, innovations to support federal investment

With major investments in infrastructure and innovation pending, a multi-disciplinary initiative lead by EPP’s Erica Fuchs is building the tools and innovations to inform government decisions.

Carnegie Mellon University

Engineering faculty quoted on climate policy

ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue, EPP’s Valerie Karplus, CEE/EPP’s Destenie Nock, CEE/EPP’s Costa Samaras, MechE’s Ryan Sullivan, and the Scott Institute’s Anna Siefken were quoted on President Biden’s climate policy.