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



Wednesday, May 11, 2016

The 2016 recipient of the Jim Pitts Undergraduate Memorial Award is Glen Junor, a Chemistry major set to graduate in June, 2016.  Glen stood out among the nominees for this award, given in honor of the late James N. Pitts, legend in Atmospheric Chemistry and longtime AirUCI team member.  Congratulations, Glen!

Thursday, May 5, 2016

AirUCI faculty Mike Dennin was interviewed on CNN in a piece about superhero powers on May 5, 2016.  His expertise this field is legendary, due in large part to a popular course he has taught for several years at UC Irvine in which he uses superheroes to help students understand the vocabulary, principles, and processes of physics and other scientific fields.  He also serves as UCI's Vice Provost for Teaching and Learning as well as Dean of Undergraduate Education.  Way to go, Mike!

Tuesday, May 3, 2016

AirUCI's Mallory Hinks, graduate student in the Nizkorodov group, has been accepted to compete in the 2016 Carbon Slam, sponsored by the office of the President of the University of California.  She will not only be representing our institute, but the entire UCI campus. This all-day event includes talks by kickoff and keynote speakers, faculty climate champions, and top students from all 10 UC campuses working on understanding and communicating the impacts of climate change and finding solutions to mitigate those impacts.  Good luck, Mallory!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

AirUCI's Randima Galhenage (postdoc in the Hemminger group), Brandon Krull (postdoc in the Furche group), and Barbara Cottrell (of the Cooper group) will be participating in a STEM Social on April 28, 2016 at Lincoln Elementary School in Santa Ana.  This is a “speed-networking” activity that introduces 3rd - 5th grade teachers to science professionals and is designed to provide elementary grade teachers with a better understanding about contemporary STEM fields and the paths that lead to STEM-related careers.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

AirUCI faculty Benny Gerber has been elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences for his distinguished contributions in atmospheric and environmental chemistry, in physical chemistry and chemical physics, and in theoretical and computational chemistry.  The AAAS recognizes leaders from the academic, business, and government sectors who are responding to challenges facing our nation and the world, and Benny is one of four UCI faculty elected this year.  We're so proud, Benny!
Read the article

Monday, April 18, 2016

AirUCI's Tuija Jokinen, postdoc in the Smith research group, received the University of Helsinki Dissertation Award for the best PhD thesis of 2015 — congratulations, Tuija!

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

AirUCI Director Barbara Finlayson-Pitts is the winner of the 2017 National Honorary Member Award from Iota Sigma Pi, National Honor Society for Women in Chemistry.  She shares this honor with many distinguished women chemists, including Marie Curie.  Barbara has served as the faculty advisor for the UCI Chapter of Iota Sigma Pi since its inception here.  Congratulations, Barb!

Thursday, April 7, 2016

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that it has awarded over $700,000 to AirUCI faculty Donald Dabdub and Sergey Nizkorodov.  Their project will help answer the question of how to protect the air we breathe from the impacts of climate change. Donald and Sergey will use the funds to study the effects of ammonia and rising global temperatures on secondary organic aerosol formation.  Both ammonia and organic compounds will be emitted more strongly in the future and this can bring about new chemical reactions, which increase the burden of particulate matter. This research will better quantify the effect of this previously unexplored chemistry by the end of the project.
Read the announcement

Monday, April 4, 2016

AirUCI faculty Scott Samuelsen is extensively quoted in an article on after he gave a tour of the APEP facility to one of their reporters who writes about renewable energy.  The tour reinforced how APEP, partner institute with AirUCI, works to develop and refine efficient and green power generation.  Read the article

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Work being done by AirUCI co-director Sergey Nizkorodov's research group is cited in an article at, who reviewed a recent paper published in Phys Chem Chem Phys (lead author, Mallory Hinks).  Atmospheric chemistry is almost entirely driven by sunlight, but the group has found that the stickiness of some particles protects them from sunlight in cool and dry conditions.  The findings show toxins trapped inside viscous particles — which are more abundant in cold, dry parts of the atmosphere — may take longer to decompose than expected, with unknown effects on air quality and environmental conditions.  Read the article