Peter Adams is a professor in the Civil and Environmental Engineering Department and the Engineering and Public Policy Department at Carnegie Mellon University. Adams’ research largely focuses on development of chemical transport models, especially the simulation of aerosol microphysical processes, ultrafine particles, and the formation of cloud condensation nuclei in global climate models. Areas of research have also included the effects of climate change on air quality, short-lived climate forcers, atmospheric ammonia and particulate matter formation from livestock operations, and the simulation organic particulate matter.

Adams was selected for a Fulbright grant to collaborate with researchers at the Institute of Atmospheric Sciences and Climate in Bologna, has been a Visiting Senior Research Scientist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's Goddard Space Flight Center, and received the Sheldon K. Friedlander Award for outstanding doctoral thesis from the American Association for Aerosol Research. He has previously served on the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania’s Air Quality Technical Advisory Committee and the Allegheny County Health Department’s Air Toxics New Guidelines Proposal Committee, as well as service to the American Association for Aerosol Research. His research is supported primarily by the Environmental Protection Agency, the National Science Foundation, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, the Department of Energy, and the Department of Defense.

Adams received his B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering, summa cum laude, from Cornell University. He was awarded a Hertz Foundation Applied Science Fellowship for graduate study and received M.S. and Ph.D. degrees in Chemical Engineering from the California Institute of Technology. He also holds an associated faculty position in the Chemical Engineering department at Carnegie Mellon.

129H Baker/Porter Hall

Airborne Particulate Matter: Public Health Impacts & Climate Change


2001 Ph.D., Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology

1998 MS, Chemical Engineering, California Institute of Technology

1996 BS, Chemical Engineering, Cornell University

Media mentions

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Akindele receives Fok Fellowship

Medinat Akindele, a CEE Ph.D. student, was recently awarded a Thomas and Maria Fok Presidential Fellowship. Under the mentorship of Professor Peter Adams, Akindele is spearheading the development of accessible and globally applicable air quality models to evaluate the health ramifications of air pollution.

CMU Engineering

Albert Presto named director of CAPS

Albert Presto has been named the director of the Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies (CAPS) at Carnegie Mellon University.

Scott Institute

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.

CMU Engineering

$3.3 million awarded to advance digital technology in Africa

Afretec has awarded 11 grants, each led by a multi-university research team, to build research capacity and work toward achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in Africa.

CMU College of Engineering

$3.3 million awarded to advance digital technology in Africa

Afretec has awarded 11 grants, each led by a multi-university research team, to build research capacity and work toward achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals in Africa.

Engineering and Public Policy

Faculty and alum help EPA propose new air quality standard

Professor Peter Adams served on an expert’s panel of the Environmental Protection Agency that has proposed strengthening a key national ambient air quality standard for fine particle pollution.

EPA Science Advisory Board

Adams to serve on EPA Science Advisory Board

EPP Head Peter Adams will work with the EPA on the Science Advisory Board’s BenMAP and Benefits Methods Panel. The panel will provide independent advice and analysis of the evidence used to quantify and monetize air pollution-related effects and how the BenMAP tool comes to these conclusions.


Afretec planning grants announced

The African Engineering and Technology Network, led by CMU-Africa, awarded six planning grants to research collaborations that will lead to socio-economic impact and focus on driving inclusive digital growth on the continent.

Engineering and Public Policy

Air quality–related health damages of food

A new research paper from Nina Domingo and collaborators at University of Minnesota, with collaboration from EPP co-authors Peter Adams, Nick Muller, Spyros Pandis, Allen Robinson, Peter Tschofen and others, that was recently featured in The Washington Post, shows how food production negatively impacts human health by increasing atmospheric fine particulate matter (PM2.5), and identifies ways to reduce these negative impacts of agriculture. 

Engineering faculty awarded professorships

Engineering faculty Peter Adams, Elizabeth Dickey, Carlee Joe-Wong, Pulkit Grover, Alan McGaughey, Rahul Panat, and Douglas Weber were awarded professorship titles in February and March 2021.

Engineering and Public Policy

New publication from Adams, Muller, Robinson, and Sergi

In their recently published paper, Optimizing Emissions Reductions from the U.S. Power Sector for Climate and Health Benefits, EPP alum Brian Sergi, along with EPP professors Peter Adams, Nick Muller, Allen Robinson, and former EPP professor Inês Azevedo, find that climate policy that incorporates health objectives can result in substantial additional benefits by prioritizing emissions reductions in places where health damages are greatest.

Engineering and Public Policy

Peter Adams appointed as Thomas Lord Professor of Engineering

Peter Adams, Head and Professor of Engineering and Public Policy and Professor in Civil and Environmental Engineering, has been appointed as a Thomas Lord Professor of Engineering.