Dr. John H. Seinfeld Delivers 2016 Jeanne and Martin Sussman Endowed Lecture
Atmospheric Chemistry, Aerosols, and Climate
Date: April 27, 2016
Time: 12:00-1:30 P.M.
Alumnae Lounge, 40 Talbot Avenue, Medford, MA
Reception to follow
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The chemistry and physics of the atmosphere is critical in processes
ranging from urban air pollution to climate change. Particles in the
air play an important role in a vast array of atmospheric processes,
from cloud formation to radiative transfer, to sinks for atmospheric
vapors. Organic substances that arise from sources as diverse as
motor vehicle exhaust, vegetation, and biomass burning constitute
much of the mass of airborne particles. We will explore the current
state of atmospheric chemistry, aerosols, and their roles in air
pollution and climate.
About Dr. Seinfeld
John H. Seinfeld, is
the Louis E. Nohl Professor and Professor of Chemical Engineering at
California Institute of Technology. He is an expert in the causes and modeling of tropospheric pollution.
He joined Caltech as
Assistant Professor of Chemical Engineering in 1967 and shortly
thereafter, he became intrigued with Los Angeles's historic
smog, which, at that time, was near record highs. Caltech biology
professor Ari Haagen-Smit had, in the early 1950s, surmised that
ozone, the principal gaseous component of smog, results from
reactions involving volatile hydrocarbons and oxides of nitrogen (NOx).
Seinfeld realized that modeling the formation of smog over an urban
area like Los Angeles would involve describing mathematically the
three-dimensional transport, mixing, and chemical reactions in the
atmosphere. A key component was describing the chemistry of the
sunlight-driven hydrocarbon - NOx system. At the time of
Haagen-Smit's classic papers, the actual mechanism of the underlying
chemistry was unknown. The essential role of the hydroxyl (OH)
radical in tropospheric chemistry was not established until about
Seinfeld and his group formulated a chemical mechanism for ozone
formation and in 1973 developed the first urban-scale atmospheric
chemical-transport model, which was applied to the Los Angeles
basin. This work, published in three papers in the journal,
Atmospheric Environment, initiated what emerged as an entire field
of scientific endeavor devoted to the modeling of tropospheric
pollution. Although he continued to conduct research on optimization
for several years, in the early 1970s he formed a major research
group on atmospheric chemistry, aerosols, and atmospheric modeling.
In 2012, he received
Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement for his contributions to
the understanding of the origin, chemistry and evolution of aerosols
in the atmosphere that provided a basis for actions to control the
effect of air pollution upon public health.
About The Jeanne and Martin Sussman Endowed Lecture:
Martin Victor Sussman grew up in New York City, entering high school
at age 12. At 19, he received an undergraduate degree in chemical
engineering from the City College of New York. He earned a doctorate
in chemical engineering from Columbia University. He was a Fellow of
the American Institute of Chemical Engineers and American Institute
of Chemists, and was a registered Professional Engineer in
Massachusetts. He was a gentleman, an inventor, and a scholar who
planted seeds of technical knowledge around the world.
Professor Emeritus Sussman was a member of the Department of
Chemical Engineering at Tufts University for 37 years. He taught
thermodynamics to generations of Tufts engineering students, and
captivated liberal arts majors with his lectures on the interaction
of culture and technology. The Tufts community was deeply saddened
by his passing on April 13, 2005.
The department was honored to receive a gift of $100,000 from the
Estate of Professor Martin V. Sussman. This gift has been named The
Jeanne and Martin Sussman Endowed Fellowship and Lectureship Fund.
Administered by the Department of Chemical and Biological
Engineering, the fund is intended to provide an international
fellowship for Chemical and Biological Engineering undergraduates
and a biannual chemical engineering lectureship series.
The department is extremely grateful for the opportunity to honor
Professor Sussman's life and dedicated service to the university,
and would like to express thanks for the kindness and generosity of
the Sussman family.