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Granger Morgan - Carnegie Mellon University. Pittsburgh, PA, US

Granger Morgan

University Professor | Carnegie Mellon University


Granger Morgan's research addresses problems in science, technology and public policy.


Granger Morgan's research addresses problems in science, technology and public policy, with a particular focus on energy, electric power, environmental systems, climate change, the adoption of new technologies and risk analysis. Much of his work has involved the development and demonstration of methods to characterize and treat uncertainty in quantitative policy analysis. At CMU, Morgan co-directs the NSF Center for Climate and Energy Decision Making and (with Jay Apt) the university's Electricity Industry Center. Morgan is a member of the National Academy of Sciences and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Areas of Expertise (5)

Quantitative Policy Analysis

Risk Analysis

Environmental Systems

Climate Change

Adoption of New Technologies

Media Appearances (3)

North Carolina attacks highlight the vulnerability of power grids

Houston Public Media  online


Substations are soft targets, because the main components in them, huge voltage transformers, cool themselves with circulating oil. High-powered rifle rounds can easily pierce transformers, spring leaks, make them overheat and shut down. The bigger transformers are about the size of railroad boxcars. Carnegie Mellon University professor M.Granger Morgan says they aren't easy to replace.

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Vulnerable U.S. electric grid facing threats from Russia and domestic terrorists

CBS News  online


Dr. Granger Morgan: Anybody who knows about power systems knows that the, the grid is physically spread all over the countryside. There are a lot of places that are vulnerable. Dr. Granger Morgan is a Carnegie Mellon University professor of engineering who chaired three National Academy of Sciences reports on the power grid for the U.S. government – the most recent in 2021. An earlier report on terrorism was classified for five years.

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Study: US Unlikely To See New Nuclear Power Anytime Soon

WABE  online


The troubled outlook for nuclear is bad news to Granger Morgan, a professor in the department of engineering and public policy at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, because he said once nuclear plants are up and running they don’t release carbon dioxide. “One of the things, of course, that are really important in the context of climate change is figuring out how to decarbonize the energy system,” he said, “that is how to produce electricity and the other things we need without producing a lot of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.”

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Risk Analysis | Granger Morgan About Engineering & Public Policy - Granger Morgan


Industry Expertise (2)


Public Policy

Accomplishments (5)

EPA Federal Advisory Committee Act Impact Award


American Society for Engineering Education Chester F. Carlson Award


Federation of American Scientists Public Service Award


Society for Risk Analysis Outstanding Educator Award


American Physical Society Joseph A. Burton Forum Award


Education (3)

Cornell University: M.S., Astronomy and Space Science 1965

University of California at San Diego: Ph.D., Applied Physics and Information Sciences 1969

Harvard College: B.A., Physics 1963

Affiliations (2)

  • National Academy of Sciences : Member
  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences : Member

Articles (5)

A Techno-Economic Evaluation of Microreactors for Off-Grid and Microgrid Applications

Sustainable Cities and Society

2023 There is a large and growing literature evaluating the efficacy of microgrids for expanding energy access for off-grid and islanded communities. Increasingly, studies are looking at the economics of supplementing or replacing fossil fuel generators with renewable energy and batteries on microgrids. Nuclear power has historically served as a baseload generator on central grids but has been far too large for microgrid applications. However, new microreactor concepts with power outputs of less than 10 megawatts have begun licensing in the U.S. and aim to serve off-grid customers. Here, I examine whether these microreactors could be cost-competitive with fossil fuels and renewables.

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Short-term economic dynamism as a policy tool to address supply shortages during crises

Industrial and Corporate Change

2023 This paper investigates the role of short-term economic dynamism in responding to crisis induced supply shortages. We focus on the domestic manufacturing ramp-up of surgical masks, respirators, and their intermediary products in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. We develop a novel method for timely identification and validation of the evolving state of domestic manufacturing. To unpack the activities of domestic manufacturers and related institutions, we triangulate across 56 qualitative interviews, certifications, Thomasnet.com®, industry associations, and other public data. We find that while large manufacturers could rapidly scale up, onshore, or diversify production to enter into domestic production of critical medical supplies, these large manufacturers alone were insufficient to meet the spike in demand.

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Optimizing an equitable micro‐hydropower deployment: Application of a multi‐objective method for rural Indonesia

Journal of Multi‐Criteria Decision Analysis

2022 Much of the developing world is still struggling to provide electricity to rural populations. Extending the grid is frequently not feasible or too expensive in rural and remote areas. In such situations, micro‐hydropower (MHP) can be a cost‐effective source of renewable off‐grid electricity and can be easier to implement and more reliable than a number of other generation technologies. This study employs multi‐objective mixed‐integer‐linear programming (MOMILP) to identify nondominated MHP portfolios to meet rural electricity needs across Indonesia. Besides maximizing the new MHP generation capacity within a fixed budget, this study also incorporates equity as an objective. The equity issue becomes crucial to ensure that government resources are deployed in a manner that considers impacts for the entire population.

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National core competencies and dynamic capabilities in times of crisis: Adaptive regulation of new entrants in advanced technology markets

Research Policy

2023 The extent to which domestic industrial capabilities are essential in contributing to a Nations' prosperity and national well-being is the topic of long-standing debate. On the one hand, globalization and the outsourcing of production can lead to greater productivity, lower product costs, and gains from trade. On the other hand, national capabilities have long been a source of competitiveness and security during times of war and other crises. We explore the importance of domestic industrial capabilities during crises through a comparative case study of two countries - Spain and Portugal - to the sudden spike in demand for the manufacture of mechanical ventilators brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. Both countries had to work within the framework of EU regulations, but had very different internal competencies upon which to draw in doing so.

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How vulnerable are US natural gas pipelines to electric outages?

The Electricity Journal

2023 Gas-electric interdependencies have contributed to several major electric system emergencies. Natural gas pipelines use both gas-powered and electric-powered compressor units; power outages at the latter can cause gas shortages. We make the first rigorous identification of the number of US electric compressor stations, finding that 10% are electric. California, the Midwest, the Gulf Coast, and the East have high installed electric compressor capacity. New hydraulic models, verified by past events, show that disrupting power to a single compressor station can force a loss greater than 2 GW of downstream gas generators. Such an outage can be larger than the most severe single-cause failure currently considered in electric reliability planning. Electric utilities should immediately incorporate the identified facilities into critical facility lists.

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