Laboratory for Air Quality Research

Studying the Emissions, Processes, and Impacts from Air Pollution Sources

Our Research

We use laboratory experiments, field measurements, and numerical modeling to study the sources, transformation, fate, and properties of gas- and particle-phase air pollutants from anthropogenic and natural sources.

Opportunities for

We look for motivated graduate and undergraduate students in Mechanical, Civil and Environmental, and Chemical Engineering to be part of our research group and to lead laboratory, field, and modeling projects. 

Industry Partnerships

We have collaborated with industry partners to design novel instrumentation, measure air pollutant emissions, and explore unique applications. If you have an idea to discuss, contact us.

The Lab

Welcome to the Laboratory for Air Quality Research at Colorado State University.  The lab is directed by Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering Shantanu Jathar. It is located at the Powerhouse Energy Campus in Fort Collins, Colorado. 

Between 2015 and 2023, LAQR has received more than $3 million in primary research funding through the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Energy Office of Science, Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), National Science Foundation (NSF), and the states of Colorado and California, and an additional $4 million as a collaborating group through EPA, NSF, and the National Aeronautics and Space Administration. We have published more than 60 publications in journals including Science, Nature, and Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Real World Impact

Air pollution, coupled with climate change, is one of the most important environmental problems of the 21st century. The scientific advances at LAQR aim to improve urban, regional, and global estimates of the air pollution burden, which will aid in the design and implementation of technology and policy interventions that mitigate the adverse impacts of air pollutants on air quality, climate, and public health.


August 2023: New hire season! Srinidhi Lokesh joined our group as a postdoc. He will be co-mentored with Prof. Thomas Borch in Soil and Crop Sciences, and he intends to lead the speciation from PAHs to PFAS arising from the combustion of structural materials. Amel joined our group as an MS student. She comes with a BS in Chemical Engineering from the University of Wyoming and aims to work on VOC and SOA analysis.

July 2023: Kevin and Jamie, with support from Cristian and Miranda, led more than 80 emissions experiments on 20+ fuels under two different combustion conditions on the BHASMA project. Their efforts were supported by partners from CU Boulder, Purdue, UC Irvine, and UC Berkeley.

June 2023: Cristian Medina and Miranda Trujillo are summer interns in our group. Cristian is pursuing a BS in Mechanical Engineering at San Diego State University, and Miranda is enrolled in Electrical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. They helped on the structural fires project, titled BHASMA, leading sample collection for offline chemical analysis. 

May 2023: Akshay and Daniel built 12 low-cost ozone and PM monitors (VOZboxes) for measurements in the San Joaquin Valley near Fresno, CA. They will soon drive these VOZboxes and work with CCEJN to deploy these in Fresno, Tulare, and King counties. Abbie joined our group as a PhD student. She comes with a BS in Mechanical Engineering from CSU. She hopes to work on developing low-cost, low-power platforms to measure properties and emissions from wildfires and prescribed burns.

February 2023: Jamie Cast and Kevin Ridgway (both undergraduates in Mechanical Engineering) started work on the Structural Fires project. Jamie is helping build an emissions sampling system while Kevin is working on putting together a combustion chamber. 

January 2023: Huiying Luo (postdoctoral scholar) and Masoud Akbarzadeh (PhD student) joined the group! Huiying was previously a postdoctoral scholar at SUNY-Albany, and Masoud moved from Tehran, Iran, after finishing his Bachelor in Mechanical Engineering from Amirkabir University of Technology.