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



Thursday, March 9, 2017

AirUCI faculty Filipp Furche's work is the basis for a collaborative study of plutonium with Los Alamos National Laboratory.  This finding uncovered a significant new chemical attribute of plutonium—the identification and structural verification of the +2 oxidation state in a molecular system—and marks out plutonium, already known for its extremely complex chemistry, as the actinide element with the largest number of confirmed oxidation states.
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Thursday, March 9, 2017

AirUCI's Mallory Hinks, graduate student in the Nizkorodov group. has been awarded a fellowship from the UCI Chancellor’s Club Fund for Excellence. These fellowships are designed to recognize and reward some of UCI's most gifted graduate students. Congratulations, Mallory!

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

The research group of AirUCI faculty Michael Prather has found that the combination of prolonged hot spells with poor air quality greatly compounds the negative effects of each and can pose a major risk to human health.  Prather’s group made the findings after examining 15 years of surface observations (1999-2013) for the eastern United States and Canada.
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Sunday, March 5, 2017

In honor of the 30th anniversary of Women's History Month, UCI's web site listed a number of UC Irvine women faculty who excel in their fields and AirUCI co-Director Barbara Finlayson-Pitts was featured among them.  Well deserved, and congratulations, Barbara!      View article

Tuesday, February 28, 2017

Nitrogen trifluoride, or NF3, is a key chemical agent used to manufacture certain types of photovoltaic cells for solar panels, as well as semiconductors and LCD flat screens.  NF3 is thought to be 17,200 times more potent than carbon dioxide as a greenhouse gas, according to the U.N. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change.  An article on quotes AirUCI faculty Michael Prather on the importance of tracking and ameliorating the effects of NF3.
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Monday, February 27, 2017

AirUCI faculty John Hemminger has been awarded the U.S. Department of Energy Secretary’s Appreciation Award.  The text of the presentation read in part:
"in recognition of your visionary leadership over 15 years of the Basic Energy Sciences Advisory Committee.  Through your skilled guidance as chairman, the committee has produced compelling strategies for cutting-edge fundamental science and world-leading scientific user facilities that are central to the United States competitiveness and the Department’s mission.  This exacting work, punctuated by several highly acclaimed committee reports, continues to inform critical federal investments with a profound impact on the Nation’s science and technology enterprise.  We are grateful for your dedicated service to the people of the United States of America."     Signed:  Ernest J. Moniz, Secretary of Energy, January, 2017.

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

The 2017 winners of James N. Pitts award are Derek DuBois and Mary Villareal.  This award is given annually in honor of the late Jim Pitts, chemistry legend and husband and research partner of AirUCI co-Director Barbara Finlayson-Pitts.  Congratulations to both winners!

Derek followed a roundabout path to chemistry research, taking several years off from school in his 20s and working in various careers.  When he returned to UCI as a Chemistry major, he joined the research team of Prof. James Nowick whose group works to gain understanding of protein and peptide assembly.  His enthusiasm for research and his drive to succeed stood out among the applicants for the Pitts award.

Mary is the first in her family to pursue a college education and discovered her love for chemistry while exploring other career options, including nursing and biology.  She overcame a number of obstacles and persisted in her studies, often with very little support.  Her goal after graduation is to attend graduate school for an advanced degree with an eye toward developing natural medical products.


Monday, February 6, 2017

AirUCI faculty Michael Prather was quoted in an article in the Fiji Sun about the landing at Nadi International Airport of NASA's DC-8 Airborne Science Laboratory.  The aircraft is used by NASA in partnership with research insitutions to collect data in support of projects serving the world's scientific community.  It is currently on a mission to study the impact of human-produced pollution on greenhouse gases and chemically reactive gases in the atmosphere.  Prof. Prather commented on how the data they are collecting will be used by the ATom science team.  Read the article

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

AirUCI faculty Michael Prather was interviewed on KCRW on January 17, 2017 in a segment entitled, "What Would You Tell Trump" and he exhorted the incoming president to acknowledge and work to alleviate climate change, saying he could still play a significant role in the effort.  Read the article


Thursday, December 1, 2016

AirUCI faculty Jack Brouwer has been working on development of the hydrogen battery for several years and is closing in on an operational model.  His work has attracted attention around the world and is noted in an article in the Orange County RegisterRead the article