Here's the latest news from AirUCI — our events, our people, our science.



Wednesday, September 21, 2022

AirUCI faculty Jack Brouwer was interviewed by KCAL TV on September 21st regarding a study on campus to measure how average homes adapt to smart technologies.  A  group of faculty homes in University Hills were outfitted with solar panels, electric cars, battery chargers, and storage units to test the performance of the electrical grid and reduce energy costs and emissions.  Energy storage is the key, said Jack, and fuel cell and hydrogen technology can help reduce stress on the electricity grid.  View the interview

Friday, September 9, 2022

AirUCI faculty Jack Brouwer is quoted in a September 9th Daily Pilot article regarding a plan he has submitted to the Public Utilities Commission that would introduce hydrogen mixed in with natural gas at several buildings on the UCI campus. They plan to use an electrolyzer to convert water into hydrogen, which does not produce carbon dioxide when it burns. That will then be mixed into the fuel being piped through existing lines in parts of the campus. Read the article

Thursday, September 8, 2022

AirUCI faculty Jim Randerson and his grad student, Audrey Odwuor, took part in a controlled burn near Blodgett, CA by sampling material on the forest floor prior to the burn and collecting smoke samples.  These will be analyzed back in the lab and compared with burn data to determine if the prescribed fire efficiently burns through the materials it's supposed to, truly reducing the risk of future wildfires.  The U.S. Forest Service is analyzing their practices — thinning pre-emptively could allow more wind to whip through during a burn, producing hotter flames and making the blaze harder to control, but it might also help the burn consume more of the remaining fodder, creating a longer-lasting buffer against wildfire.  These studies help form best practices for forest maintenance.  Read the article

Thursday, September 1, 2022

AirUCI faculty Manabu Shiraiwa is co-author on a new paper published in Science that shows how high levels of OH radicals can be generated indoors, simply due to the presence of people and ozone. “Our modeling team is the first and currently the only group that can integrate chemical processes between skin and indoor air, from molecular scales to room scales,” said Manabu.  This article was also highlighted in a September 2022 edition of C&E News.  Read the article

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

AirUCI faculty Jack Brouwer, professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, has been named a UC Irvine Chancellor's Fellow.  These are faculty with tenure whose recent achievements in scholarship evidence extraordinary promise for world-class contributions to knowledge, and whose pattern of contributions shows a strong trajectory to distinction.  The campus title carries an award of up to $25,000 per year for three years in support of research.  Congratulations, Jack!

Thursday, August 25, 2022

AirUCI faculty Jack Brouwer was interviewed in a KCAL-9 news segment discussing the California Air Resources Board vote on August 25 to phase out gas-powered cars by 2035.  Jack discussed our state grid's capability to handle so many new electric vehicles and the need to include hydrogen fuel cell vehicles in the plan.  "The grid does not currently have the capability to add millions of battery electric or even fuel-cell electric vehicles today," Jack said, "So, we have some time to make reasonable investments in the grid to enable this to actually happen and to happen well."  View the segment and read the article

Wednesday, August 3, 2022

AirUCI research specialist Shahir Masri is quoted in a Marketplace article about a new study which finds that wildfires disproportionately affect lower-income people.  Shahir, whose own recent study is cited, said what we’re seeing is how climate change and its effects – like worsening wildfires – are linked to inequality, whether we’re talking about floods or air pollution or extreme heat waves.  Read the article

Thursday, July 28, 2022

AirUCI faculty Annmarie Carlton is the recipient of this year’s Violet Diller Award for Professional Excellence from Iota Sigma Pi, a national honor society for women in chemistry. The award consists of a cash prize, certificate, and a lifetime membership in Iota Sigma Pi.   From the ISP website: “This award is for outstanding contribution to chemistry and allied fields by a woman. This is a triennial award."  

Congratulations to Annmarie for this well-deserved distinction!

Wednesday, July 27, 2022

Samuel Bekoe, a graduate student in AirUCI's Furche group, is a recipient of a 2022-2023 Molecular Sciences Software Institute (MoSSI) Software Fellowship. These prestigious fellowships, awarded to only 11 fellows this year, recognize major contributions to computational methods that advance molecular science, computer science, and applied mathematics. Congratulations, Samuel!

Monday, July 25, 2022

Several AirUCI faculty were invited to speak at the Telluride Science Research Center workshop held July 18-22, 2022.  Celia Faiola, Sergey Nizkorodov,, Manabu Shiraiwa, and Jim Smith all gave presentations on key topics.  A number of AirUCI collaborators from other institutions also spoke at the workshop, including Alla Zelenyuk, Alex Laskin, and Yinon Rudich.