Mitchell Small is the H. John Heinz III Professor of Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University (CMU), with a joint appointment in the Departments of Civil & Environmental Engineering (CEE) and Engineering & Public Policy (EPP). Small's research involves mathematical modeling of environmental systems, risk assessment, and decision support. Current projects include the design and evaluation of leak detection at geologic CO2 sequestration sites and shale gas extraction wells; the value of scientific information for conflict resolution among stakeholders with different values and beliefs; and the development of models and decision support tools for energy system transitions. He has published over 180 manuscripts in peer-reviewed journals (130), books, and conference proceedings.

Small served as the associate department head for Graduate Education in EPP from 1992 - 2014. He has served as a member of the US EPA Science Advisory Board (SAB) and has been a member of a number of US National Research Council (NRC) committees, including service as the chair of the NRC Committee on Risk Management and Governance Issues in Shale Gas Extraction (2012-2014) . He is a Fellow and former secretary of the Society for Risk Analysis, and served for 16 years as an associate editor for the journal Environmental Science & Technology, where he helped to initiate the policy analysis section of the journal.

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Mitchell Small

The Value of Information for Conflict Resolutions


1982 Directory Data Directory Data 100% 10 Ph.D., Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan Screen reader support enabled. Ph.D., Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan Bridget Decker has left the document.

1979 MS, Environmental Engineering, University of Michigan

1974 BS, Civil Engineering and Engineering and Public Affairs, Carnegie Mellon University

Media mentions


Small and Cotterman’s research on switching to sustainable resources featured

CEE/EPP’s Mitchell Small and EPP Ph.D. student Turner Cotterman had their research featured in WESA.

CMU Engineering

What’s left out of energy models? You.

Researchers show that sustainably decarbonizing our energy system by 2050 will require a significant change in the way we model energy transitions and the role of public opinion.


New paper examines management of China’s coal power system

A new study published in Nature and co-authored by CEE/EPP’s Mitchell Small examines how to manage China’s coal power plants to address multiple environmental objectives.

CMU Engineering

Department news

The initiatives underway in the College’s departments embody the value we place on progress. Here are some of our current projects and prides.