Success Story

Scarlett Miller appointed director, Cocoziello Institute of Real Estate Innovation

UNIVERSITY PARK – Scarlett Miller, professor of industrial engineering and mechanical engineering in the College of Engineering at Penn State, was recently appointed director of Penn State’s Cocoziello Institute of Real Estate Innovation. 

The Cocoziello Institute of Real Estate Innovation is dedicated to advancing the real estate industry through cross-disciplinary collaboration and education. The institute strives to identify and develop new solutions that improve the built environment, enhance the well-being of its occupants, and support sustainable development. Peter Cocoziello, founder and CEO of Advance Realty Investors, is the founding chairman of the institute and a ‘73 Penn State alumnus. 

“We established the Cocoziello Institute to drive continuous learning and foster entrepreneurship in real estate, with the crucial aim of breaking through academic silos,” said Cocoziello. “With Scarlett Miller at the helm, we are poised to leverage interdisciplinary collaboration to tackle complex real estate challenges, from carbon emissions and supply chain logistics to architectural innovation. Her leadership will be instrumental in propelling the institute towards innovative solutions and impactful engagement.” 

In her role as director of the institute, Miller is responsible for providing strategic direction to the institute, as well as engaging with industry advisors, research faculty across all disciplines, and other experts to develop the next generation of global leaders in real estate innovation. 

“Penn State does interdisciplinary research better than almost anyone else,” Miller said. “I’m excited to help amplify the impact of our disciplinary communities across departments, colleges, and campuses to have a significant impact in the future of real estate – to scale our areas of excellence and help solve real estate’s biggest challenges.” 

Miller most recently served as the director of the Center for Research in Design and Innovation, providing leadership to 65 faculty across eight colleges. Miller is currently serving as a selected administrative fellow for the provost and executive vice president at Penn State and the Big Ten Academic Alliance (BTAA) Administrative Leadership Program (ALP).  

As a fellow, she has led projects in collaboration with the Office of the Provost and the Office of the Senior Vice President for Research to support university-level strategic planning and bolster interdisciplinary research efforts. 

Miller received her Ph.D. in industrial engineering from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in industrial and management systems engineering from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. 

“We are delighted to welcome Scarlett as the inaugural director of the Cocoziello Institute of Real Estate Innovation,” said Andrew Read, senior vice president for research at Penn State. “Having already served in director roles at the university, Scarlett is exceptionally well-equipped to step into this role and bring Peter’s rich vision for this institute to life. I am eager to see what boundaries in real estate our great university will now be able to push under her leadership.” 

The Cocoziello Institute will have five key focus areas, which include next generation building materials, insurance analysis, design for a nuclear future, Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG), and Onshoring/Offshoring/Pre-shoring. Learn more about the Cocoziello Institute and how you can get involved. 

About Penn State 

Penn State is a multi-campus, land-grant, public research University that educates students from around the world, and supports individuals and communities through integrated programs of teaching, research and service. Penn State is an R1 university, a classification given by the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Higher Education to the very best research universities in America, reaching a record $1.239 billion in research expenditures during fiscal year 2022-23. The University’s discovery-oriented, collaborative and interdisciplinary research and scholarship promote human and economic development, global understanding, and advancement in professional practice through the expansion of knowledge and its applications in the natural and applied sciences, social and behavioral sciences, engineering, technology, arts and humanities, and myriad professions. The University’s instructional mission includes undergraduate, graduate, professional, continuing and extension education, offered through both resident instruction and distance learning. Penn State’s educational programs are enriched by the talent, knowledge, diversity, creativity and teaching and research acumen of its faculty, students and staff. As Pennsylvania’s sole land-grant university, Penn State provides unparalleled access to education and public service to support the citizens of the commonwealth and beyond. The University engages in collaborative activities with private sector, educational and governmental partners worldwide to generate, integrate, apply and disseminate knowledge that is valuable to society. For more information, visit