Group News

James presents at CMAS Conference

October 20, 2021 – PhD student James East gave a presentation at the 2021 Community Modeling and Analysis System Conference (CMAS) Conference. He described his research assimilating NO2 from the OMI and TROPOMI satellite instruments with an air quality model in his presentation titled “Enhanced representation of inter-continental pollutant transport by assimilating satellite NO2 and performing NOx emissions inversions.” The project is a collaboration between Dr. Garcia Menendez, James, and scientists at the EPA. The conference, held virtually this year, featured scientists from around the world presenting research on many aspects of air quality modeling development and applications.

Qian presents at A&WMA MEGA Symposium

October 20, 2021 – PhD student Qian Luo presented her research in a talk titled “Diverse Pathways for Power Sector Decarbonization Yield Health Co-Benefits, but Fail to Alleviate Air Pollution Exposure Inequities” at the 2021 MEGA symposium organized by Air & Waste Management Association. The symposium focused on the transition of the electric industry to cleaner and climate-resilient power. Qian’s research emphasizes the importance of considering environmental justice during transitions to cleaner energy sources.

Sadia and Fernando deliver Southern Fire Exchange webinar 

August 12, 2021 – Recent research group graduate Dr. Sadia Afrin and Dr. Fernando Garcia Menendez presented research findings and results during a webinar hosted by the Southern Fire Exchange. The webinar covered recent research that used burn permit records, air quality modeling, and epidemiological associations to examine the impacts of prescribed burning, with a focus on case studies in Georgia and North Carolina. Over 180 attendants joined the webinar.

Megan receives Graduate Research Innovation award from the JFSP

July 30, 2021 – PhD student Megan Johnson was awarded a prestigious Graduate Research Innovation (GRIN) award from the US Joint Fire Science Program (JFSP). The award funds student-authored proposals for original research that augments their dissertation work and enhances its policy relevance. The $25,000 award will support Sadia’s effort to identify Southeastern communities impacted by smoke from wildland fires and investigate potential shifts under climate change. Congratulations Megan!

Sadia successfully defends PhD dissertation

June 3, 2021 – PhD student Sadia Afrin successfully defended her doctoral dissertation, titled “Evaluating the Impacts of Prescribed Fire on Air Quality and Public Health in the Southeastern U.S.” The dissertation was approved by her doctoral committee, which included Andrew Grieshop (Env. Eng.), Joe Roise (Forestry) and Yang Zhang (Northeastern Univ.). Having completed an excellent PhD at NC State, Sadia will join MIT as a Postdoctoral Associate this Fall. Congratulations Dr. Afrin!

Qian and Haofan awarded A&WMA Scholarships

May 10, 2021 – PhD student Qian Luo was awarded the 2021 Air Pollution Control and Waste Minimization Research Scholarship from the Air and Waste Management Association. MS student Haofan Li received the Association’s 2021 Sustainability Research and Study Scholarship. The A&WMA scholarships are awarded in recognition of academic excellence and professionalism. Congratulations Qian and Haofan!

Fernando receives Blessis Advising Award

April 25, 2021 – The NC State College of Engineering presented Fernando Garcia Menendez with the 2020-21 George Blessis Advising Award. The award recognizes faculty members who consistently and willingly give their time and effort to advising, counseling and mentoring students, and assisting student groups. It is also a continuing memorial to George H. Blessis, a faculty member whose interest in undergraduate education and advising serves as an example today. Dr. Blessis was a faculty member in Civil, Construction, and Environmental Engineering until 1987. Candidates are nominated by their department and are selected by the College of Engineering Teaching and Advising Awards Committee.

Megan awarded USGS Science to Action Fellowship

April 20, 2021 – PhD student Megan Johnson received a Science to Action Fellowship from the U.S. Geological Survey. The Science to Action Fellowship program supports graduate students in developing a product that puts science into action, directly applying scientific research to decision-making about natural resources. Fellows collaborate with USGS mentors and work on high-priority, real-world challenges in natural resources. As a fellow, Megan will study the shifting impacts of wildland fire smoke and land management practices under climate change. Congratulations Megan!

Qian selected as Energy Data Analytics Fellow

February 21, 2021 – PhD student Qian Luo was selected as a 2021 Energy Data Analytics Student Fellow by the Duke University Energy Initiative. The initiative is focused on advancing an accessible, affordable, reliable, and clean energy system. As part of the program, fellows receive financial support, participate in workshops with faculty and peers, learn about data science and energy topics, and disseminate their project outcomes. Qian plans to use this opportunity to strengthen her doctoral research on reducing health impacts from power-sector emissions in China. Congratulations Qian!

Group members present their research at 2020 AGU Fall Meeting, Megan receives Outstanding Student Presentation Award

December 20, 2020 – PhD students Sadia Afrin, Megan Johnson, and James East presented their research at the 2020 American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, which was help virtually this year. Sadia presented a poster describing her research on “The air quality tradeoffs of wildfire and prescribed burning”, conducted with support of Shannon Koplitz and Kirk Baker from US EPA. James shared a poster about his work on the “Impact of climate related uncertainty on projections of US air quality and implications for extremes” describing research done in collaboration with Erwan Monier from UC Davis.

Megan Johnson gave two presentations. She shared an eLightning presentation on “Public Perception of Smoke and Wildland Fire in North Carolina and the Influence of Proximity to Fire”. She also gave a presentation on “Evaluation of Smoke Modeling Tools Used for Estimating Air Quality Impacts from Prescribed Burning”. Megan Johnson received an Outstanding Student Presentation Award (OSPA) for this presentation. Only the top 2-5% of student presenters at the Fall Meeting each year receive an OSPA. Congratulations Megan!