Joseph DeCarolis

Associate Professor

Dr. DeCarolis is an Associate Professor in the Department of Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering at North Carolina State University. His research program is focused on addressing energy and environmental challenges at the intersection of engineering, economics, and public policy. His primary focus is the development and application of energy system models to analyze how energy technology and public policy can shape a sustainable future. With regard to energy modeling, he is particularly interested in the development and utilization of open source software to maximize model transparency as well as the use of high performance computing to conduct rigorous uncertainty analysis. Dr. DeCarolis is currently working on other research topics, including the economics of marine energy technologies, the integration of building energy simulation into the architectural design process, and solid waste management in a carbon constrained world.

He teaches Fundamentals of Environmental Engineering (CE373), Energy and Climate (CE478/578), Energy Modeling (CE796), and Life Cycle Assessment (CE796). In addition, Dr. DeCarolis delivers guest lectures on energy and environmental issues in other academic programs, including Environmental Sciences (Climate Change and Sustainability: ES200; Energy and Environment: ES300) and Electrical and Computer Engineering (Electric Power Generation: ECE452/552). He is also the coordinator for the Environmental, Water Resources, and Coastal  Engineering (EWC) group.


Ph.D. 2004

Engineering and Public Policy

Carnegie Mellon University

B.S. 2000

Physics and Environmental Science and Policy

Clark University

Research Description

DeCarolis is interested in the interdisciplinary assessment of energy technology and policy aimed at affecting deep cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. His primary focus is on the development and application of energy system models to derive policy-relevant insight that is robust to future uncertainty.

Honors and Awards

  • ALCOA Research Achievement Award, 2016
  • ASEE Southeastern Section, Outstanding New Teacher Award, 2011
  • NSF CAREER Award, 2010


US Energy-Related Greenhouse Gas Emissions in the Absence of Federal Climate Policy
Eshraghi, H., Queiroz, A. R., & DeCarolis, J. F. (2018), ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY, 52(17), 9595–9604.
Cost-benefit assessment challenges for a smart distribution system: A case study
Sun, L. S., Thomas, J., Singh, S., Li, D. X., Baran, M., Lubkeman, D., … Watts, S. (2017), In 2017 ieee power & energy society general meeting.
Evaluating the US Mid-Century Strategy for Deep Decarbonization amidst early century uncertainty
Galik, C. S., DeCarolis, J. F., & Fell, H. (2017), Climate Policy, 17(8), 1046–1056.
Evaluation of externality costs in life-cycle optimization of municipal solid waste management systems
Martinez-Sanchez, V., Levis, J. W., Darrigaard, A., DeCarolis, J. F., Barlaz, M. A., & Astrup, T. F. (2017), Environmental Science & Technology, 51(6), 3119–3127.
The Importance of open data and software: is energy research lagging behind?
Pfenninger, S., DeCarolis, J., Hirth, L., Quoilin, S., & Staffell, I. (2017), Energy Policy, 101, 211–215.
The economics of electricity generation from Gulf Stream currents
Li, B., Queiroz, A. R., DeCarolis, J. F., Bane, J., He, R. Y., Keeler, A. G., & Neary, V. S. (2017), Energy (Oxford, England), 134, 649–658.
Characterization of municipal solid waste collection operations
Jaunich, M. K., Levis, J. W., DeCarolis, J. F., Gaston, E. V., Barlaz, M. A., Bartelt-Hunt, S. L., … Jaikumar, R. (2016), Resources Conservation and Recycling, 114, 92–102.
Modelling to generate alternatives with an energy system optimization model
DeCarolis, J. F., Babaee, S., Li, B., & Kanungo, S. (2016), Environmental Modelling Review & Software: With Environmental Data News, 79, 300–310.
Systematic evaluation of industrial, commercial, and institutional food waste management strategies in the United States
Hodge, K. L., Levis, J. W., DeCarolis, J. F., & Barlaz, M. A. (2016), Environmental Science & Technology, 50(16), 8444–8452.
An enhanced linear regression-based building energy model (LRBEM plus ) for early design
Al Gharably, M., DeCarolis, J. F., & Ranjithan, S. R. (2016), Journal of Building Performance Simulation, 9(2), 115–133.

View all publications via NC State Libraries

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Collaborative Research:NSF-NSFC:Improving FEW system sustainability over the SEUS and NCP: A cross-regional synthesis considering uncertainties in climate and regional development
National Science Foundation (NSF)(8/15/18 - 7/31/22)
Refinement of the FREEDM Center Cost-Benefit Model
NCSU Future Renewable Electric Energy Delivery and Management Systems Center (FREEDM)(9/01/16 - 8/31/17)
INFEWS/T3: Solar-Powered Integrated Greenhouse (SPRING) Systems Using Wavelength Selective Photovoltaics for Complete Solar Utilization
National Science Foundation (NSF)(1/01/17 - 12/31/20)
Maximizing Energy for Waste While Minimizing Life-Cycle Environmental Burdens and Cost
US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)(12/09/14 - 2/28/19)
Solid Waste Management Planning for Wake County in Consideration of Cost, Energy and Environmental Emissions
Wake County(7/01/14 - 12/31/17)
Cybersees: Type II: Cyber-Enabled Water and Energy Systems Sustainability Utilizing Climate Information
National Science Foundation (NSF)(9/01/14 - 2/29/20)
SAVI: International Institute for Solid Waste Management Life-Cycle Modeling
National Science Foundation (NSF)(8/15/14 - 7/31/19)
Utilizing Municipal Solid Waste as a Biofuel Feedstock
Biofuels Center of North Carolina(7/01/11 - 4/30/13)
CAREER: Modeling for Insights with an Open Source Energy Economy Optimization Model
National Science Foundation (NSF)(1/15/11 - 12/31/16)
Modernizing Models and Data on Methane Production from Landfills
Environmental Research & Education Foundation(8/02/10 - 7/31/13)