John H. Seinfeld

California Institute of Technology


Election Year: 2013
Primary Section: 31, Engineering Sciences
Membership Type: Member

Biosketch

John H. Seinfeld is the Louis E. Nohl Professor in the Divisions of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering and Engineering and Applied Science at the California Institute of Technology. He is a graduate of the University of Rochester, where he received a BS degree in chemical engineering, and of Princeton University, where he received a PhD in chemical engineering. He has spent his entire professional career at Caltech. From 1990-2000 he served as Chair of Caltech's Division of Engineering and Applied Science. Professor Seinfeld is widely acknowledged for his research on the chemistry and physics of the atmosphere. Through both experimental and theoretical studies, he has made numerous contributions to our knowledge of the chemistry of the urban atmosphere, the formation, growth, and dynamics of atmospheric aerosols, and the role of aerosols in climate. He received the Fuchs Award in 1998, given every four years and considered the highest honor bestowed for work in the field of aerosol science. He received the Aurel Stodola Medal of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH) and the 2012 Tyler Prize. He is the recipient of honorary doctorates from the University of Patras (Greece), Carnegie Mellon University, and Clarkson University.

Research Interests

Seinfeld studies the atmosphere, including air pollution and climate. Much of his work has concerned particles in the air, so-called aerosols, their sources, their chemistry, and their role in climate. He initiated research into the chemistry of aerosols and was the first to develop means of studying atmospheric aerosol chemistry in laboratory chambers. His work has helped form the basis of air quality control regulations in the United States and worldwide.

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