Our Team

Lab Director

Dr. Shantanu Jathar is an Associate Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Colorado State University whose research interests lie at the intersection of energy and the environment. His research group leverages laboratory experiments, field measurements, and numerical models to study the emissions, evolution, and properties of air pollutants arising from anthropogenic and natural sources. He is married to an electrical engineer and has two bouncy kids. In his spare time, he likes to run, bike, hike, paddle, drink coffee, and play the bansuri.

Postdoctoral Scholar

DR. Srinidhi Lokesh


Srinidhi is a postdoctoral scholar in Mechanical Engineering. 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.

  • Ph.D. Environmental Engineering, University of Nevada, Reno
  • M.S. Environmental Engineering, New York University
  • BTech Mining Engineering, National Institute of Technology Karnataka


Huiying is a postdoctoral scholar in Mechanical Engineering. Her research is focused on developing and validating photochemical mechanisms and parameterizations for aerosol formation and evolution using laboratory data. Later on, she will study the evolution of urban emissions in North America with the help of three-dimensional numerical models (such as WRF/Chem). She enjoys hiking, biking, crafting, and photography in her spare time.

  • Ph.D. Environmental Engineering, University of Connecticut
  • B.S. Surveying and Mapping Engineering, Central South University

Graduate Students

Abbie Maben


Abbie is a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering. She will be developing low-cost, low-power platforms to measure properties and emissions from wildfires and prescribed burns

  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Colorado State University
Amel Ksaibati


Amel is an MS student in Mechanical Engineering. She is working on exploring the modeling and analysis of air quality studies. She began to estimate the secondary aerosol formation from oxygenated VOCs in her previous REU research. In her free time, Amel enjoys biking and hiking Colorado trails.

  • B.S. Chemical Engineering, University of Wyoming
Masoud Akbarzadeh


Masoud is a Ph.D. student in Mechanical Engineering. He is working on the analysis and modeling of secondary organic aerosol formation from oxygenated VOCs. In his free time, Masoud enjoys swimming and playing video games.

  • B.S. Mechanical Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology
Akshay Kumar Gunniah Vijayakumar


Akshay is an MS student in Mechanical Engineering. He is working on the deployment of a low-cost, autonomous sensor network to measure ozone concentrations and exposure in the Central Valley of California. In his free time Akshay likes to play cricket, cook, and watch sports.

  • B.Eng., PSG Institute of Technology, India

Undergraduate Students

Jamie Cast


Jamie is a 3rd year undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering. They helped work with the SCENTS project along with the construction and design of a low cost thermodenuder. Currently, they are working on a project analyzing emissions from structural fires. Outside of work they enjoy reading, playing music, and long walks along campus.

Daniel Polinski


Daniel is a 4th year undergraduate in Environmental Engineering. He has been working on developing low-cost, autonomous ozone sensors for applications in rural/remote areas. In his free time, Daniel enjoys getting outside to ski, rock climb, run, or just enjoy the views.

Kevin Ridgway


Kevin is a 3rd year undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering. Currently, he is working on a project evaluating the emission factors/inventory of structural fires on the wildland-urban interface. He enjoys mountain biking, working on electronics projects, and playing board games with friends in his spare time.

High School Students

Neil Vaidya


Neil is a senior at Fossil Ridge High School. He is working on developing a Corsi-Rosenthal Box equipped with CO2 and aerosol sensors. After graduation, he plans to get his BS in Electrical and Computer Engineering. In his free time Neil enjoys biking, hiking, and driving around in the mountains.


Research Scientists (alphabetical)

  • Dr. Casey Quinn ()
    • Casey focused on developing low-cost sensors for measuring air quality and assessing human health exposures from those data. He also worked on modeling methane emissions, techno-economic analyses, exposure science, environmental health, low-cost sensor development, citizen science data collection, and electric vehicles.

Postdoc/PhD (alphabetical)

  • Dr. Ali Akherati (8/15-4/21), PhD Mechanical Engineering (co-advised by Jeff Pierce)
    • Ali used box and three-dimensional models to study the formation and evolution of secondary organic aerosol from novel precursors in urban environments, biomass burning emissions, and wildfire plumes. Ali is currently a software engineer with Ramboll Shair in California. 
  • Dr. Kelsey Bilsback (3/21-9/21), Postdoctoral Scholar
    • Kelsey used a global chemical transport model to study the influence of artifact-corrected parameters on secondary organic aerosol production globally. She also helped in implementing a process-level model into a regional climate model. Kelsey currently works as a senior scientist at PSE Health Energy in Colorado. 
  • Dr. Wayne Chuang (6/18-3/20), Postdoctoral Scholar
    • Wayne helped develop computationally-efficient representations to simulate the chemistry and microphysics of organic aerosols in chemical transport models. Wayne currently works with the Regional Air Quality Council in Colorado.
  • Dr. Charles He (8/18-5/22), PhD Mechanical Engineering
    • Charles developed and applied process-level models to study the formation and properties of secondary organic aerosol from model VOCs and VOC mixtures. He is currently a postdoc researcher at Tsinghua University.
  • Dr. Anna Hodshire (8/14-12/19), PhD Atmospheric Science (co-advised; primary advisor: Jeff Pierce)
    • Anna used box and three-dimensional models to study the evolution of atmospheric aerosols in diverse environments, including forests, remote ocean, and smoke plumes. Anna is currently a solutions lead with QuantAQ in Colorado.  

MS (alphabetical)

  • Shiva Chenna (8/16-5/19), MS Mechanical Engineering
    • Shiva’s MS thesis focused on using artificial neural networks to model the fuel economy and tailpipe emissions from light-duty passenger vehicles. Shiva works as an engineer for Apple in Cupertino, CA.
  • Abraham Dearden (8/20-12/22), MS Mechanical Engineering
    • Abe’s MS thesis explored the physical and chemical evolution of biomass burning emissions over long photochemical ages. He is currently an Air Quality Consultant at Ramboll in Fort Collins, CO. 
  • Sailaja Eluri (9/15-1/17), MS Mechanical Engineering 
    • Sailaja’s MS thesis developed and applied two semi-explicit chemistry and thermodynamic models to predict the formation and composition of secondary organic aerosol from diesel exhaust. Sailaja is currently a PhD student at the North Carolina State University in Rayleigh, NC.
  • Dylan Giardina (8/20-5/22), MS Mechanical Engineering
    • Dylan’s MS thesis designed and evaluated autonomous low-cost sensors to measure ozone pollution in the Northern Front Range of Colorado. Currently, Dylan is a research associate at the University of Hawaii at Manoa in Manoa, HI. 
  • Abril Galang (1/15-1/17), MS Mechanical Engineering
    • Abril’s MS thesis involved the use of neural network models to predict fuel economy and emissions from electric and hydraulic hybrid vehicles.  Abril currently works as an engineer at Toyota in Ann Arbor, MI.
  • Sreejith Sasidharan (8/19-1/23), MS Mechanical Engineering
    • Sreejith’s MS thesis focused on developing parameters for secondary organic aerosol formation from volatile chemical product emissions.
  • Naman Sharma (1/17-12/18), MS Mechanical Engineering
    • Naman’s MS thesis examined the influence of fuel, engine load, and emissions control on the oxidative reactivity of diesel exhaust particles. Naman currently works at Element Materials Technology in Seattle, WA.

BS Thesis (alphabetical)

  • Dylan Giardina (8/19-5-20), BS Mechanical Engineering
    • Dylan’s BS thesis focused on the design and development of a low-cost ozone sensor to provide long-term, autonomous measurements of regional ozone pollution.
  • Mikaela Henness-Wilson (5/17-12/18), BS Mechanical Engineering
    • Mikaela’s BS thesis involved the development and application of statistical models to predict criteria pollutant emissions from on-road mobile sources.
  • Christopher Heppding (8/15-5/16), BS Mechanical Engineering
    • Chris designed, fabricated, and tested an selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system for a Tier 3 diesel engine and helped measure isocyanic acid emissions resulting from the SCR chemistry.
  • Brandon King (1/17-5/18), BS Mechanical Engineering
    • Brandon’s BS thesis used an environmental chamber to study the formation of secondary organic aerosol from next-generation biofuels. 
  • Zachary Lustig (8/19-5/20), BS Mechanical Engineering
    • Zach performed vertical profile measurements of the particle sized distribution using an unmanned aerial vehicle using an optical particle counter. 
  • Abbie Maben (6/19-5/21), BS Mechanical Engineering
    • Abbie deployed optical particle spectrometers in Fort Collins to study the spatiotemporal variability in particle size distributions and analyzed urban air quality impacts from the lockdowns mandated during the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Scott Parmelee (8/19-5/20), BS Mechanical Engineering
    • Scott’s BS thesis involved the design and development of a prototype to simultaneously measure fluoresced and scattered light from airborne particles.

 Undergraduate Researchers (alphabetical)

  • Jonathan Boualavong (5/15-7/15), BS Biomedical Engineering 
    • Jonathan used an electrochemical microfluidic sensor to measure the oxidative load of diesel and biodiesel particulate matter emissions.
  • Spencer Jordan (1/20-12/21), BS Civil and Environmental Engineering
    • Spencer used a computational fluid dynamics code to study aerosol transport and processes in a continuous flow diffusion chamber. 
  • Liam Lewane (8/15-7/18), BS Mechanical Engineering
    • Liam designed, built, and maintained the CSU environmental chamber and played an important role on all diesel engine-related projects.
  • Ben Platt (5/17-7/17), BS Mechanical Engineering
    • Ben performed chamber experiments to quantify secondary organic aerosol mass yields from a suite of biofuel substitutes for gasoline.
  • Gabe Rodriguez (5/17-7/17), BS Mechanical Engineering
    • Gabe helped analyze particle size distribution data from several different instruments deployed during the FIREX campaign at the Fire Sciences Lab in Missoula, MT.
  • Cody Vanderheyden (8/15-5/17), BS Mechanical Engineering
    • Cody helped measured and analyze aerosol emissions from diesel engines and cookstoves and also led the design of a portable, low-cost, variable dilution system for combustion emissions.

Senior Design (reverse chronological)

  • Alex Lieberman, Vance Payne, Joshua Weller, Kepler Worobec (8/18-5/19), BS Mechanical Engineering
    • Alex, Vance, Josh, and Kepler designed, built, and tested a light-weight instrument package to perform particle size distribution measurements using an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV). Their instrument package allowed for a flight time of ~20 minutes and should enable measurements of airborne particles aloft, including those in wildfire plumes.
  • Alex Gabriel, Ian Huber, Aaron Radack, Jonathan Sharf, Keith Syrstad, Kyle Tallakson (8/16-5/17), BS Mechanical Engineering
    • Alex, Ian, Aaron, Jon, Keith, and Kyle designed and built a low-cost, standalone, field-deployable ozone monitor using the MiCS-2614 sensor. Their monitor cost about ~$200 and offered excellent performance against ambient reference analyzers (within 10%). Preliminary deployments with this monitor suggested modest spatiotemporal differences in ozone concentrations within the city of Fort Collins, CO.
  • Collin Babcock, Matt Houghton, Alex Mitchell, Kyle Roberts, Ashlee Sanchez (8/15-5/16), BS Mechanical Engineering
    • Collin, Matt, Alex, Kyle and Ashlee designed, developed and constructed a low-cost, low-power, portable and autonomous, ambient air quality monitor that measured carbon dioxide and three other criteria pollutants (carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and ozone). Their air quality monitor could measure near-ambient to elevated concentrations of pollutants, was accurate within 20% (at room temperature and dry air), lasted ~7 days on a single charge and cost about $750.

Alex Lieberman, Vance Payne, Joshua Weller, Kepler Worobec

Alex Gabriel, Ian Huber, Aaron Radack, Jonathan Sharf, Keith Syrstad, Kyle Tallakson

Collin Babcock, Matt Houghton, Alex Mitchell, Kyle Roberts, Ashlee Sanchez