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 the co-director of the Green Design Institute at CMU, 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.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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
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.