Doctoral Finishing Fellowship – Fall 2023 Recipient – Susan Mathai

I started as a PhD student in Atmospheric Sciences at Michigan Tech in August 2018. My interest in Atmospheric Sciences began during an elective course I took while pursuing my master’s degree in physics at the National Institute of Technology (NIT Calicut). Since then, my interest in Atmospheric Sciences has grown, and I have been eager to learn more about it.
My doctoral research focuses on investigating the physical, chemical, and optical properties of aerosols, which are particles suspended in the atmosphere, specifically those emitted from biomass burning. Over the course of five years, with the support of my advisor and colleagues at Michigan Tech, I have gained valuable knowledge and experience that will undoubtedly benefit me in my future endeavors. Additionally, I had the opportunity to expand my exposure and understanding of the subject through an internship at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), where I worked with Dr. Swarup China. During my internship, I estimated the optical properties of tar ball particles that are formed during biomass combustion. I also studied the physical and chemical properties of aerosols from an Urban polluted region that is highly influenced by biomass burning.
I am grateful to the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory panel for granting me the finishing fellowship award and to my advisor, Prof. Claudio Mazzoleni, for his unwavering support and guidance throughout my PhD journey. I also thank my mentor at PNNL, Dr. Swarup China for his hard work and dedication in helping me complete my PhD. Additionally, I express my thanks to both my current and former research group members for engaging in excellent discussions and fostering a spirit of teamwork. I eagerly anticipate defending my thesis and advancing along my chosen career path.