Donahue to receive American Chemical Society Award

Sep 5, 2022

Neil Donahue

Neil Donahue, professor in Carnegie Mellon’s Chemical Engineering, Engineering and Public Policy, and Chemistry departments, will receive the American Chemical Society (ACS) Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science at the ACS Spring 2023 meeting in Indianapolis.

The award encourages creativity in research and technology or methods of analysis to provide a scientific basis for informed environmental control decision-making processes. Donahue is being recognized for developing the “Volatility Basis Set (VBS),” which has become one of the main tools to understand and describe the chemistry and physics of organic aerosols in the atmosphere.

“The VBS was the result of a collaboration between experimental and modeling colleagues across CMU—Allen Robinson in Mechanical Engineering, Spyros Pandis in Chemical Engineering, and Peter Adams in Civil and Environmental Engineering as well as Engineering and Public Policy,” said Donahue.

“The award is a huge honor, and a real testament to the power of collaborative research.”

Donahue’s research focuses on the behavior of organic compounds in Earth atmosphere. His group is currently studying microscopic organic particles' origin and transformations, which play a critical role in climate change and human health.

In addition to his professorship, Donahue serves as the director of the Steinbrenner Institute for Environmental Education and Research, a fellow of the American Geophysical Union and the American Association for Aerosol Research, Editor in Chief of the Royal Society of Chemistry journal, Environmental Science: Atmospheres, and a member of numerous professional societies.