People

Neil Donahue is a professor in the Departments of Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, and Engineering and Public Policy at Carnegie Mellon University. He also directs the Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research. He seeks to understand how Earth’s atmosphere works, and how humans affect the atmosphere. One of his objectives is to help all graduating Carnegie Mellon students understand the climate problem and to apply their outstanding problem solving skills to solutions of this enormous challenge. He is a member of numerous professional societies, a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, and an editor with several academic journals.

Donahue’s research group focuses on the behavior of organic compounds in Earth’s atmosphere. They are world experts in studying what happens to compounds from both natural sources and human activity when they are emitted into the atmosphere. Recently his research has focused on the origin and transformations of very small organic particles, which play a critical role in climate change and human health. Particles scatter light, influence clouds, and kill roughly 50,000 people each year in the US, mostly of heart attacks.

Donahue’s father taught physics at Pitt, and Donahue received a B.S. in Physics from Brown University in 1985. He received a Ph.D. in meteorology from MIT in 1991, and spent nine years as a research scientist at Harvard before returning to Pittsburgh in 2000. He lives with his wife Maren Cooke and daughters Kielan and Innes in Squirrel Hill. They have three kW of photovoltaic solar panels on their roof. Donhaue is also an avid road cyclist; you may find him on one hill or another around town.

Office
2116 Doherty Hall
Phone
412.268.4415
Email
nmd@andrew.cmu.edu
Google Scholar
Neil Donahue

Clouds Are the Clue to Climate Predictions

Organics & Atmospheric Aerosols

Media mentions


Earth and Space Science News

Donahue will give lectures at AAAR and AGU

ChemE/EPP Neil Donahue has been selected to give lectures at the 2019 American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR) and the American Geophysical Union (AGU) meetings.

The Associated Press

Donahue comments on U.S. air quality and environmental regulations

EPP/ChemE’s Neil Donahue was recently quoted by The Associated Press in an article concerning U.S. air quality and changes in environmental policies.

Associated Press

Donahue on recent slip in U.S. air quality

ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue was quoted by the Associated Press about the recent slip in U.S. air quality after decades of steady improvement. This is due to a variety of factors, both natural and manmade. With the Trump administration’s pending policy on emissions that will likely loosen regulations, Donahue believes that U.S. air quality will only continue to deteriorate.

CMU News

Donahue elevated to University Professors

ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue was among the Carnegie Mellon faculty recently elevated to the rank of University Professor, the highest distinction a faculty member can achieve.

The Hill

Donahue on the Green New Deal

In an opinion piece for The Hill, ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue writes that the recently introduced Green New Deal is viable and necessary to combat current environmental issues in the U.S. He argues for several measures, including an electric system and carbon tax, and emphasizes the importance of communication between partisan lawmakers.

Forbes

Donahue analyzes costs of repealing fuel efficiency mandate

ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue spoke with Forbes about the potentially detrimental effects of the White House’s decision to repeal the Obama administration’s automaker mandate to increase fuel efficiency standards by one mile per gallon every year through 2025.

The College of Engineering faculty award winners announced

The College of Engineering has named this year’s faculty award winners, selected by the College of Engineering Faculty Awards Committee. Congratulations to the winners.

WESA

Donahue predicts changes to Pittsburgh climate

ChemE’s Neil Donahue spoke with WESA on how climate change will affect the future of Pittsburgh.

Nature

Donahue offers different perspective on China’s giant air cleaners

ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue is curious whether the benefits of China’s new giant air cleaners—solar-powered filters that remove noxious particles from the air—outweigh the environmental damage they could cause.

VRT NWS

Donahue comments on realities of clean coal

ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue was interviewed for a report by Belgium national broadcast outlet VRT NWS on President Trump’s push for clean coal mining.

CBS Pittsburgh

Neil Donahue quoted on snowy Pittsburgh winters

Neil Donahue was quoted in CBS Pittsburgh about the severity of Pittsburgh winters and potential snowfall and how it may decrease in the future.

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Samaras and Donahue quoted on climate change and the future of Pittsburgh

CEE’s Costa Samaras and ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue were both quoted in a recent interactive web piece in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, each analyzing the likely effects of climate change and the implications for Pittsburgh's future.