Atmospheric Integrated Research at University of California, Irvine

Energy Sources and Pollutant Emissions

Prof. Paulina Oliva

Contact Information

Department of Economics
3151 Social Science Plaza
University of California-Irvine
Irvine, CA 92697-5100 USA

E-mail: 
bolivava@uci.edu

Dr. Paulina Oliva, Associate Professor of Economics, UC Irvine School of Social Sciences [Ph.D. in Economics, UC Berkeley, 2009]
 
Prof. Oliva is an expert on Environmental Economics and studies the effects of air pollution on health, particularly among low- and middle-income populations.  Her research shows that high levels of air pollution can be especially lethal to vulnerable populations in low- and middle-income countries such as Mexico, China, India, and Brazil.  Her current research is taking a closer look at socioeconomic characteristics – education, access to healthcare, initial health status – to determine why these populations are more susceptible to the effects of air pollution, and she aims to address the effectiveness of public policy at improving environmental outcomes and how low-income populations can benefit from these policies.
 
She also studies costs of air pollution measured in infant mortality and work hours lost.  In addition to finding that effects of air pollution on infant mortality are much higher in developing countries when compared with the U.S., she’s found poor air quality to be the culprit for substantial losses in worker productivity.  This effect is most concentrated among families who have dependents – small children and the elderly – who are more susceptible to the effects of air pollution as sick days are being taken to care for these individuals.
 
 

Research Interests: 

Development Economics, Environmental Economics, Labor Economics, Applied Econometrics

Selected Publications: 

 

Selected Honors and Awards: 
Thormalen Fellow (2009)
Journal of Development Economics Award (2009)
UC-Mexus Doctoral Fellowship (2004-2009)
Dean Normative Time Fellowship (2007)
First Year Department Fellowship, Univ. of California, Berkeley (2004-2005)

Steven J. Davis

Contact Information

University of California, Irvine
Department of Earth System Science
3232 Croul Hall
Irvine, CA 92697-3100

Telephone: 
949.824.1821
E-mail: 
sjdavis@uci.edu

Associate Professor of Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine: [Ph.D. in Geological and Environmental Sciences from Stanford University].  Prof. Davis works to understand and find ways to meet the challenge of satisfying global demand for energy, food, and goods without emitting carbon dioxide to the atmosphere.
He is interested in studies of coupled human and natural systems and sustainable systems analysis, including: energy technology and policy; of pollution and resources embodied in international trade; of socio-economic inertia and “lock-in” of environmental problems; and of the complex interactions of energy systems, agriculture, climate change, and global ecology.

Education

  • 2008   Ph.D. Geological and Environmental Sciences, Stanford University
  • 2001   J.D. Virginia School of Law, University of Virginia
  • 1998   B.A. Political Science and Philosophy, University of Florida, Phi Beta Kappa

Academic Experience
 
University of California, Irvine: Department of Earth System Science
    Associate Professor     2016-present
    Assistant Professor     2012-2016
Chinese Academy of Sciences: Institute of Applied Ecology
    Young International Distinguished Professor     2015-2016
Tsinghua University:  Center for Earth System Science
    Visiting Professor     Summer 2015
Carnegie Institution for Science:  Department of Global Ecology
    Senior Research Associate     2010-2012
    Postdoctoral Researcher     2008-2010
University of Washington: Joint Institute for the Study of the Atmosphere and Ocean
    Visiting Scholar     2010-2012
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution: Marine Policy Center
    Guest Investigator     2009-2010
Stanford University: Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences
    Research Assistant     2004-2008

Professional Experience

  • Near Zero: Co-Founder and Chief Scientist     2009-Present
  • The Climate Conservancy: Co-Founder and Executive Director     2006-2010
  • Gray, Cary, Ware & Freidenrich, LLP (now DLA Piper), Corporate and Securities Group: Associate Attorney     2002-2004

Professional Affiliations and Service

  • State Bar of California
  • American Geophysical Union
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Geological Society of America
  • Editorial Board, Environmental Research Letters
  • Review Editor, Frontiers in Energy Systems and Policy

 

Research Interests: 

Biogeochemical cycles; energy technology and policy; emissions and energy embodied in international trade; life cycle assessment; interactions of agriculture and climate; human drivers of greenhouse gas emissions; and socio-economic inertia of climate change. Expert in the interactions of energy, agriculture, water, climate and international trade.

Selected Honors and Awards: 
2016: UC Irvine: Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education
2015: National Academy of Sciences: PNAS Cozzarelli Prize

Prof. Jacob "Jack" Brouwer

Contact Information

221 Engineering Lab Facility
Mechanical, Aerospace, & Environmental Engineering Dept., UCI
Irvine, CA  92697-3550
Email: jb@nfcrc.uci.edu

Telephone: 
949-824-1999 x221
E-mail: 
jbrouwer@uci.edu

Assistant Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering; Associate Director of the National Fuel Cell Research Center (NFCRC) and the Advanced Power and Energy Program (APEP)
Jack Brouwer received his B.S. and M.S. in Mechanical Engineering degrees from UCI, and his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in 1993.
At the NFCRC, Professor Brouwer conducts research projects in: 

  • high temperature electrochemical dynamics
  • hydrogen, electricity, and heat tri-generation
  • fuel cell systems analyses
  • novel solid oxide fuel cell materials science
  • air quality and greenhouse gas impacts of future energy technologies

He also directs and conducts NFCRC development and demonstration activities in fuel cell, fuel cell hybrid, fuel cell systems and components, micro-turbine, and advanced power generation technology research.  He leads the development of experimental and simulation capabilities for investigation of fuel cells and other advanced power and energy technologies and has overall responsibility for the operations of the NFCRC including external relations, project management, faculty liaison, and supervision of technical and administrative staff. 
As professor, he develops curricula and instructs students in the fundamental science and technology of fuel cells.  He also works to develop the NFCRC concept in cooperation with the insight and leadership of Professor Scott Samuelsen and works cooperatively with other colleagues in Engineering and other departments, demonstrating technical expertise in fields related to fuel cells and advanced alternative energy conversion devices.
In August, 2011, the NFCRC team developed an exciting and unique fuel cell generator in conjunction with the Orange County Sanitation District in Fountain Valley, California.  Other private sector collaborators on the project were FuelCell Energy, Inc. and Air Products.  The apparatus simultaneously and continuously converts gases that are created in wastewater digesters into hydrogen, which is then used for zero-emission vehicle fuel, electricity, and heat.  This is an important breakthrough in clean energy technology that promises to lead to cleaner air and less reliance on fossil fuels.

Research Interests: 

Science and engineering of energy conversion with coupled mass, energy and momentum conservation, chemical and electrochemical reaction and heat transfer; steady-state and dynamic modeling of fundamental processes that govern energy conversion devices such as fuel cells, electrolyzers, and gas turbine engines; solid state ionics and electrochemistry; fuel processing; synthesis and experimental investigation of novel fuel cell materials sets; analyses of integrated energy systems comprising fuel cells, photovoltaics, fuel processing, gas turbines, and wind turbines; experimental analyses and model validation; renewable energy; life cycle analyses of energy conversion technologies.

Selected Honors and Awards: 
International Who’s Who of Professionals, Honored Member, 2006
National Academy of Engineering, Invited Lecturer, 2004
Member, Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society, 1992
U.C. Regents Fellowship Recipient, 1987-1988
Summa Cum Laude, UCI, 1987
Member, Tau Beta Pi Association, 1986

Prof. G. Scott Samuelsen

Contact Information

The Henry Samueli School of Engineering
University of California, Irvine
zotcode: 3550
Irvine, CA 92697-3550

Telephone: 
(949) 824-5468
E-mail: 
gss@uci.edu

Professor of Mechanical, Aerospace, and Environmental Engineering at the University of California Irvine, Director of the Advanced Power and Energy Program (APEP), Director of the National Fuel Cell Research Center (NFCRC)

Professor Samuelsen brings to the ORU his expertise in energy generation, from fossil fuel combustion to advanced fuel cell technology, and their impacts on the environment.  He received his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley.  

In addition to his duties as Director of APEP and NFCRC on campus, he also hosts the Secretariat of the Pacific Rim Consortium on Energy, Combustion, and the Environment (PARCON).

His research is focused on fuel cells and fuel cell systems for stationary applications as well as the hydrogen infrastructure for mobile hydrogen-fueled combustion and fuel cell vehicles.  He directs anchor research on:

  • advanced coal and natural gas power plants for the co-production of electricity and hydrogen for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)
  • distributed generation and information technology research for the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) in support of energyefficient and environmentally-responsible power generation
  • hydrogen refueling research for the South Coast Air Quality Management District
  • advanced energy systems research for the California Energy Commission
  • hydrogen- fueled vehicle market and hydrogen infrastructure research with the University of California Institute for Transportation Studies

In December 2002, Professor Samuelsen directed the introduction of the first commercial hydrogen fuel cell vehicle into the United States and manages today the public use of three fuel cell hybrid vehicles (FCHVs) as a platform to understand the challenges associated with this new paradigm.  In January 2003, he directed the commissioning of a hydrogen refueling station on campus, and will oversees the installation of public refueling stations scheduled for installation in multiple Orange County cities.  He co-Chairs the California Stationary Fuel Cell Collaborative, and leads the Collaborative standing committee on the stationary fuel cell and hydrogen vehicle interface.  His energy expertise is based on forty years of combustion research working with strategic alliances involving industry with applications to gas turbine propulsion, gas turbine electronic power generation, and combustion distributed generation resources.

In August, 2011, the NFCRC team developed an exciting and unique fuel cell generator in conjunction with the Orange County Sanitation District in Fountain Valley, California. Other private sector collaborators on the project were FuelCell Energy, Inc. and Air Products.  The apparatus simultaneously and continuously converts gases that are created in wastewater digesters into hydrogen, which is then used for zero-emission vehicle fuel, electricity, and heat.  This is an important breakthrough in clean energy technology that promises to lead to cleaner air and less reliance on fossil fuels.

With the South Coast Air Quality Management District (AQMD), he is Principal Investigator for consulting on site selection for the deployment of 207 microturbine generators (MTGs) in the South Coast Air Basin (SoCAB), as well as design and implementation of an Information Technology (IT) infrastructure to monitor and potentially dispatch the MTGs over the 33 sites. 

Prof. Donald R. Blake

Contact Information

Department of Chemistry
University of California, Irvine
570 Rowland Hall
Mail Code: 2025
Irvine, CA 92697

Telephone: 
(949) 824-4195
E-mail: 
drblake@uci.edu

Professor of Chemistry at UC Irvine.

Ph.D. in Chemistry, University of California Irvine.

Professor Blake brings state-of-the-art techniques for measuring trace gases in air and in human breath to the ORU.  Atmospheric composition is changing at an unprecedented rate. His research group identifies and quantifies atmospheric gases in (a) remote locations throughout the Pacific region from Alaska to New Zealand: (b) highly polluted cities throughout the world; and (c) areas with special conditions, such as burning forests and/or agricultural wastes, or the marine boundary layer in oceanic locations with high biological emissions. Whole air samples are collected on land, ships, and aircraft and are returned to his  laboratory for analysis.

Gas chromatography utilizing flame ionization detection, electron capture detection, and mass spectrometry is the main analytical tool. A three-gas chromatograph analytical system is used to quantify about 150 halocarbons, nonmethane hydrocarbons, and alkyl nitrates ranging in mole fraction from about 2 parts per billion to 10 parts per quadrillion.

In an attempt to determine "background" concentrations of selected trace gases, since 1978 he and his team have been collecting air samples at surface locations every three months in Pacific regions from northern Alaska to southern New Zealand. Results from this "background" study recently led to their  discovery that methyl bromide, a gas that significantly affects stratospheric ozone concentrations, has a tropospheric seasonal cycle. This finding provides an important constraint on hemispheric and seasonal methyl bromide sources and removal processes.

Energy use, principally fossil fuel combustion, in eastern Asia has increased substantially during the past decade and likely will continue into the next decade. Concentration data for samples collected in various Chinese cities and rural areas by group members and colleagues from Hong Kong and Guangzhou will be used to help better constrain emission inventories used in chemical models of the atmosphere.

Since 1988 his research group has been involved in NASA- and NSF-sponsored airborne projects. The general motivation for these experiments is regional or global change. For example, the 1991 and 1994 NASA Pacific Exploratory Missions-west (PEM-west) were designed in part to determine baseline concentrations of trace gases and aerosols in air advected from the Asian continent.

NASA’s 2001 TRACE-P airborne mission flown in the same region and season (winter/spring) as the 1994 PEM and provided valuable information regarding changes in atmospheric concentrations of important trace gases. The Japanese Space Agency missions (PEACE) flown in winter and spring of 2002 were in part designed to extend the seasonal observations of the TRACE-P project. In 2004 and 2006 the group flew on NASA’s INTEX missions that were designed to study chemistry and transport of pollutants from mega cities. NSF also funded the 2006 Mexico City airborne study. In 2007 the group flew on NASA’s TC4 mission in which upwelling of tropical air into the upper troposphere/lower stratosphere was studied. In 2008 the group flew on the NASA DC-8 aircraft for a polar mission in which boreal forest fire emissions and Arctic haze were studied.

Graduate students are involved in building equipment, aircraft integration, collecting samples during flights, analyzing samples at his home laboratory, interpreting data, preparing manuscripts, designing sampling studies for various projects, and writing proposals. 

Research Interests: 
  • Atmospheric chemistry
  • Analysis of trace gases in exhaled breath
Selected Honors and Awards: 
American Chemical Society Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology 2013
Elected Fellow of AGU 2009
Lauds and Laurels 2009
Elected Fellow of AAAS 2008
Outstanding Contributions to Undergraduate Education, Physical Sciences 2008
NASA Group Achievement Award 1993, 1998, 2000, 2006, 2009
Outstanding Professor Alpha Phi Society 2000, 2002, 2005
ACS Chuck Bennett Service through Chemistry 2004
Excellence in Undergraduate Research 2001
UCI Chemistry Department Outstanding Teaching Award 1979
Bank of America Chemistry Award 1975