Constantine “Costa” Samaras is an associate professor in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. His research spans energy, climate change, infrastructure, and defense analysis. Costa analyzes how energy technology and infrastructure system designs affect energy use and national security, resiliency to climate change impacts, economic and innovation outcomes, and life cycle environmental externalities. He is an affiliated faculty member in Carnegie Mellon’s Scott Institute for Energy Innovation and the College of Engineering’s Energy Science, Technology and Policy Program.

Samaras is also an adjunct senior researcher at the RAND Corporation and a professor at the Pardee RAND Graduate School. He served on a National Academies Committee evaluating the Department of Energy’s advanced transportation energy research portfolio, serves on the Transportation Research Board’s Alternative Transportation Fuels and Technologies Committee, is an associate editor of the journal Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, and serves on the American Society of Civil Engineers’ Committee on Adaptation to a Changing Climate. He has published numerous studies examining plug-in and autonomous vehicles, renewable electricity, transitions in the energy sector, conventional and low-carbon fuels, and was one of the lead author contributors to the Global Energy Assessment. Samaras has also led analyses on energy security, strategic basing, and infrastructure issues faced by the Department of Defense. 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. From 2009 to 2014 he was a RAND Corporation researcher, most recently as a senior engineer. From 2008 to 2009 he was a postdoctoral 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.

Samaras received a joint Ph.D. in Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy from Carnegie Mellon, an 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. He also is a Leadership and Excellence in Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional.

103 Baker/Porter Hall
Google Scholar
Costa Samaras
Costa Samaras

Climate Adaptation for Infrastructure


2008 Ph.D., Civil and Environmental Engineering and Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University

2004 MPA, Public Policy , New York University, Wagner Graduate School of Public Service

1999 BS, Civil Engineering, Bucknell University

Media mentions

The Washington Post

Samaras quoted on Biden’s infrastructure plan

CEE’s Costa Samaras was quoted by The Washington Post in an article on the costs and challenges facing the Biden administration’s ambitious infrastructure plan. He emphasized the enormous time and resources the plan will require, as well as the need to anticipate future challenges like the effects of climate change.

Public Source

Armanios and Samaras quoted on infrastructure

EPP’s Daniel Armanios and CEE/EPP’s Costa Samaras diagnosed regional infrastructure needs in Public Source.

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.

Multiple Sources

Samaras quoted on electric vehicles

CEE’s Costa Samaras was quoted in The New York Times and WIRED on electric vehicles for the US government.


Samaras quoted on electric vehicles

CEE’s Costa Samaras was quoted in Vice on electric vehicles for USPS.


Samaras quoted on climate policy

CEE’s Costa Samaras was quoted on Gizmodo about climate policy in the U.S. Department of Transportation.

StateImpact Pennsylvania

Samaras quoted on climate policy

CEE’s Costa Samaras was quoted on StateImpact Pennsylvania on his hopes for Biden’s climate policy.

Multiple outlets

Samaras quoted on climate policy

CEE’s Costa Samaras was quoted in Forbes, Bloomberg, and Scientific American on his advice for climate policy under the Biden administration.

The Verge

Samaras quoted on hyperloop safety

CEE’s Costa Samaras was quoted in The Verge on ensuring safety for passengers on a hyperloop.

Nock and Samaras partner with Google AI on energy equity

CEE’s Destenie Nock and Costa Samaras are partnering with Google AI researchers to characterize energy equity in the U.S. as part of the company’s Award for Inclusion Research (AIR) program. The team’s ultimate goal is to “explore policy options for increasing energy equity in electricity, heating, and transportation during the transition to a decarbonized energy system under climate change.”


Samaras quoted on Walmart’s environmental actions

CEE’s Costa Samaras was quoted in Axios’s newsletter Generate on what Walmart is doing to help the Earth.


Samaras quoted on Tesla

CEE’s Costa Samaras was quoted on CNBC on Elon Musk’s plans for Tesla.