The Grassian group is involved in several research areas including surface chemistry of environmental interfaces, heterogeneous atmospheric chemistry, climate impact of atmospheric aerosols, and environmental and health aspects of nanoscience and nanotechnology.

Grassian Group News


May 12th – Congratulations to our second year students - Deokhyeon, Ellen and Sanjaya!!! 

May 1st – We welcome Dr. Natalia Gonzalez Pech as a new postdoc in the Grassian group. Natalia finished her PhD in Chemistry from Rice University under the guidance of Prof. Vicki Colvin. 

quangApril 17th – Quang Nguyen (leftmost), an undergrad, organized and led the EarthFair event on behalf of ACS-SA, or the ACS Student Affiliates at UCSD. Quang's team performed demonstrations for children and attendees to learn more about green chemistry as per the theme of the event.

April 15th – Aruni is now officially Dr. Aruni Gankanda after she successfully defended her Ph.D. thesis! Aruni joins as a postdoc in the group of Prof. David Cwiertny in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering in U of Iowa. Congrats Doc!

April 8-11th –  CAICE researchers across the country including our very own Jon and Armando attended the CAICE annual meeting at the Sanford Consortium for Regenerative Medicine led by CAICE Director Kim Prather and co-director Vicki Grassian to discuss recent research successes in the center and future directions for research. Also present in the event were CAICE external science advisors: Prof. Alison Butler (UC Santa Barbara), Dr. Susannah Burrows (PNNL), Prof. Veronica Vaida (U Colorado, Boulder), Dr. Bruce Garrett (PNNL), Prof. Robert Duce (Texas A&M). Workshops on professional development and diversity were attended by CAICE students and postdocs.  

March 31st – Imali leaves for her job at Cabot Microelectronics.  Imali worked with many grad and undergraduate students at Iowa. For all of them we say – thank you and wish her the best of luck in her new position!!!

March 25th – Review article by Mingjin Tang entitled “Interactions of Water with Mineral Dust Aerosol: Water Adsorption, Hygroscopicity, Cloud Condensation, and Ice Nucleation” in Chemical Reviews (Chem. Rev. DOI: 10.1021/acs.chemrev.5b00529) is published!!!

juanvhgMar 13th-17th - (Left) Vicki Grassian and Juan Navea (former postdoc) with four of his undergraduate research students from Skidmore at the ACS meeting in San Diego. (Right) Juan was recently featured in a photo in C&EN for his development of dual teaching/research equipment opportunities at undergraduate institutions.

Mar 13th-17th - Armando and Jon gave talks in the Physical Chemistry of Complex Environmental Interfaces" session chaired by Vicki Grassian and Gil Nathanson (UW-Madison) of the 251st ACS National Meeting and Exposition in San Diego, CA. Former Grassian Group members: Rich Cochran (Director of ECAL, UCSD); Hind Al-Abadleh (Wilfrid Laurier University, Canada) and Andy Ault (U of Michigan) were also present to gave talks of their respective independent reseach in the same session.  

aMar 5th - Armando participated in a CAICE outreach activity as volunteer and demonstrator for cloud in a bottle experiment during the 2016 San Diego Science and Engineering Festival Expo in Petco Park in Downtown San Diego. Over 25,000 people attended on the Expo Day.


Jan 1st - Rich Cochran is now the Director and Senior Development Engineer of the Environmental Analysis Laboratory of CAICE based in the University of California San Diego. Congrats Rich!!!


Oct 12th-16th - Rich and Armando attended the 34th Annual Conference of the American Association for Aerosol Research in Minneapolis, MN. Rich gave a talk on partitioning and selectivity of  molecules in nascent sea spray aerosol while Armando presented a poster on the hygroscopic properties of organosulfates. 

Oct 1st - Vicki Grassian's invited guest commentary about Particle Chemistry in the Environment: Challenges and Opportunities is now published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Letters

raAug 22nd - Armando, Aruni, and Rich participated in an outreach activity during the Iowa State Fair in Des Moines. 

Aug 16th - 20th - Jon Trueblood presented a poster of his research work during the 250th ACS National Meeting and Exposition in Boston, MA. Vicki Grassian gave a talk in the session "30 Years of Langmuir: Looking Back and Forward." 

Aug 4th Armando Estillore completes 8-week summer workshop on mentoring the next generation of scientists.  

Aug 2nd-7th - Rich Cochran and Mingjin Tang attend Gordon Research Conference: Atmospheric Chemistry In Waterville Valley, NH. Vicki Grassian is one of the speakers in the confab. 

July 30th - Dr. Rich Cochran, postdoc, travels to New York to attend the 13th Atmospheric Chemistry Colloquium for Emerging Senior Scientists (ACCESS XIII) held at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Rich is one of the 25 participants selected from a poll of applicants across the globe to attend ACCESS and the GRC in Atmospheric Chemistry, which will be held at Waterville Valley Resort, Waterville Valley, New Hampshire on August 2-7, 2015. Congrats Rich!

ZhenNinaJuly 29th - Nina Diklich (left) and Zhen Qin (right), REU summer students, presented posters of their work during the 10th Annual UI Summer Undergraduate Research Conference (SURC). SURC highlights the work of more than 140 of UI's most talented undergraduate student researchers.

July 10th - Today we bid farewell to Tao, visiting professor from China. We will miss you Tao!   

June 26th - Josh Grandquist successfully defended his master's thesis. Congratulations Josh!

June 21st-26th - Dr. Imali Mudunkotuwa, postdoc, travels to West Dover, VT to present her work in the Gordon Research Conference: Environmental Nanotechnology.

June 2nd - Welcome Nina Diklich from Aquinas College who will be doing summer undergraduate research at the University of Iowa. She is joined by undergrad Zhen Qin who will also be doing research this summer in the Grassian group. 

May 22nd - We wish Olga all the best as she leaves Iowa to move to Philadelphia. We will miss you Olga!

May 18th CAICE researchers published a new paper in ACS Central Science that describes a chemical process that directly links ocean biology and aerosol chemistry. Jon and Olga are the co-authors from Iowa. Read the press release here and here (C&EN)

May 15th - Zhenzhu (Jenny) Xu is now officially a PhD candidate in Chemistry after passing her comprehensive exam. Congratulations Jenny!


May 13th - Yuan Fang successfully passed her Ph.D. comprehensive exam! Congratulations Yuan!

May 1st - Congratulations to Jon Trueblood for passing his Ph.D. comprehensive exam!

Olga AwardOlga AwardApril 28thOlga Laskina and Betsy Stone (Chemistry Faculty) receive the 2015 Graduate Research Excellence Award in Biology, Life, Mathematical and Physical Sciences and Early Career Scholar of the Year Award, respectively, during the Celebrating Excellence: Discovery and Innovation Awards Ceremony hosted by The Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development which recognized research and innovation excellence among UI students, faculty, and staff. View the press release here.

defenseApril 24th - Olga Laskina officially joins the rank of PhDs after she successfully defended her dissertation. Congratulations Dr. Olga!

ZhenApril 8th - Zhen Qin, an undergrad, presented a poster during the 11th Annual Spring Undergraduate Research Festival

February 7th-13th - Aruni Gankanda took a break from the cold winter in Iowa to present poster of her work at the GRC: Chemical Reactions at Surfaces in Ventura, CA. Vicki Grassian gave a talk and served as one of the discussion leaders at the meeting!

January 29th - Dr. Mingjin Tang joins the group as a new postdoctoral fellow! Welcome Mingjin to Iowa!

January 28th - Olga's paper published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry A Mario Molina Festschrift is selected as one of the ACS Editors' Choice. Her work, alongside Holly Morris (Tivanski group), Josh Grandquist, Zhen Qin, Dr. Betsy Stone, Dr. Alexei Tivanski, and Dr. Vicki Grassian, is also featured in the website of the department's recent news and on CAICE's Facebook page and Twitter. Congratulations!!! 

January 19th - Dr. Tao Yang of Hebei University in China joins us as a Visiting Professor! Welcome Tao to Iowa!

January 15thDr. Richard Cochran joins us as a new postdoctoral fellow working on CAICE project in collaboration with the Stone group!


December 26th - Congratulations to Olga, Josh and Holly, their CAICE collaborative paper "Size Matters in the Water Uptake and Hygroscopic Growth of Atmospherically Relevant Multi-Component Aerosol Particles" to be published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry Mario Molina Festschrift has been selected to be featured in ACS Editors' Choice!!  

December 10th - Welcome new graduate students – Ellen Codden, Sanjaya Dilantha and Deokhyeon Kwon – to the Grassian group.

December 5th - Jackie Dowling joins the Grassian group again for a short stint while she is on break from Carleton College.  Working with Jon Trueblood and Olga Laskina, Jackie is helping us identify the biological and organic components of sea spray aerosol.  Great job Jackie - come back again soon!

December 1st - See Olga Laskina, Jon Trueblood and other CAICE students in the Science Nation Video Sea spray: Complex chemistry with big effects on climate with commentary from Kim Prather and Vicki Grassian and narrated by Miles O'Brien.


November 25th - RSC Publishing has collected the best research highlighting the importance of chemistry in climate change. Congratulations to Iowa and UCSD CAICE researchers for the selection of their Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics article ‘Raman microspectroscopy and vibrational sum frequency generation spectroscopy as probes of the bulk and surface compositions of size-resolved sea spray aerosol particles’ 

As stated by Professor Susan Solomon,  USA Ellen Swallow Richards Professor of Atmospheric Chemistry & Climate Science, MIT and Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts Advisory Board Member "In the lead up to the UN climate change conference in Paris in late 2015, it is timely to consider the importance of chemistry in climate science. This collection showcases the essential contributions of chemical science to understanding climate change. As the world weighs mitigation and adaptation options, chemists will be part of the search for solutions.”

November 14th - The 70th American Chemical Society (ACS) Midwest Award goes to Vicki Grassian. The award is given by the St. Louis Section of the ACS to publicly recognize outstanding achievements in chemistry in the Midwest region. See for further details. (Vicki receiving the award on the left photo).

Aruni, Hayder, Alaa, Zhenzhu, Yuan, Olga, Josh and Armando presented posters on their work. Imali delivered a talk in the Physical Chemistry Session - good job everyone!!

Former group members: Andy Ault, now at University of Michigan; Hind Al-Abadleh, now at Wilfrid Laurier University; and Paula Hudson, now at California State University in Fullerton gave awesome talks about their respective group researches during the Midwest Awards Symposium organized by Professor Sarah Larsen. 

November 5th - Welcome Brittany Givens to the Grassian Research Group!! Brittany is a Chemical and Biochemical Engineering joint student with Professor Jennifer Fiegel.

October 27th & 28th - CAICE Annual Meeting in San Diego a huge success.  Jon, Olga, Josh and Armando presented posters on their work involving the chemical characterization, heterogeneous chemistry and hygroscopicity of sea spray aerosol - good job everyone!!  CAICE advisors Bruce Garrett (PNNL), Veronica Vaida (UC Boulder), Alison Butler (UC Santa Barbara), Bob Duce (Texas A&M emeritus) and Susannah Burrows (PNNL) all provided great feedback on CAICE activites - thank you advisors!!! 

October 9 - AWIS Magazine features the Grassian group and Vicki Grassian is on the magazine cover.

August 10-14 - Aruni Gankandana and Olga Laskina presented posters of their work at the ACS meeting in San Francisco.  There was great interest from many of the attendees.  Andy Ault, former group member now at the University of Michigan, co-organized a successful symposium with Jonathan Raff, Indiana University, on “Environmental Interfaces”.  Former group member Hind Al-Abadleh, now at Wilfrid Laurier University, gave a nice talk in that sympoium.  Vicki Grassian gave several talks at the meeting including one entitled “International Collaborations with International Impact: Chemistry for Global Change” which was organized by graduate students at the University of Washington.  Nice going everyone!!

August 1 - Dr. Armando Estillore joins us as a new postdoctoral fellow - we welcome Armando to Iowa!!!!

June 23-August 1 - Olga Laskina, Jon Trueblood and Josh Grandquist go to San Diego to particpate in CAICE - IMPACTS.  Great work done by all in this intense and amazing experiment!!  

See the blog

June 15 - Good bye and good luck to  Dr. Charith Nanayakkara!  Wishing you the best of luck in Texas!

June 15 - Congratulations and good luck to Whitney Larish in her new job here in Iowa!

May 17 - Congratulations to Matt Burian for receiving his M.S. in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. Good luck Matt! 

May 6- Vicki H. Grassian receives John Jeyes Award from the Royal Society of Chemistry.  See the RSC website for more details

Apri 28 - Congratulations Dr. Charith Nanayakkara who successfully defended his Ph.D. dissertation.  Nice job Charith!!

Apri 3 - Vicki Grassian and David Cwiertny (former Grassian group postdoc) receive 2014 Scholar of the Year Award and  Early Career Scholar of the Year Award, respectively, in the inaugural event hosted by The Office of the Vice President for Research and Economic Development which recognized research and innovation excellence among UI students, faculty, and staff. See UI Press release for more details

March 31 - Chemical and Engineering News Reporter Celia Henry Arnaud highlights the PittCon symposium co-organized by Kim Prather and Vicki Grassian in her article "Probing Aerosols One by One".  The article references published papers by current graduate student Olga Laskina (J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 2013, DOI: 10.1002/jgrd.50494) and former postdoc Andy Ault (Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA 2013, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1300262110 and J. Am. Chem. Soc. 2013, DOI:10.1021/ja407117x).

March 30 - Charith Nanayakkara receives second place in the Math, Physical & Engineering Sciences Division of the 2014 Jakobsen Graduate Conference – congratulations Charith! This continues a seven year Grassian group tradition of placing 1st, 2nd, or 3rd at the conference. 

March 30 - Nanodays at the state capitol - another STEM Outreach success - congratulations to all!!

March 18 - Wondwossen Anbessie will be greatly missed by the Grassian Research Group

March 8 - Great STEM outreach event at the River Center in Davenport with 1100 Girl Scouts in attendance and 600 parents!  Congratulations to grad sudents Josh Grandquist, Olga Laskina and Jon Trueblood along with Holly Morris and Thilina Jayarathne for reaching out to future scientists!

February 1 - RSC publishes first issue of Environmental Science: Nano 

January 10-29 - Olga Laskina visits UC San Diego to participate in the CAICE mesocosm MART experiment with the Prather and DeMott research groups!!

January 22-23 - Vicki Grassian gives a talk at AirUCI 10th Anniversary Workshop at Laguna Beach, CA.  Congratulations to Barbara Finlayson-Pitts and her colleagues on a job well done!  Former group member Haihan Chen, now a postdoc at UC Irvine, gave a great talk at the workshop with her UC-Irvine colleagues.


December 20 - Welcome to new graduate students Yuan Fang and Zhenzhu Xu who joins the Grassian research group.


October 17 - Imali Mudunkotuwa successfully defends her dissertation – congratulations Imali !!!


September 16  - Andy Ault's Talk at ACS Meeting appears in Chemical & Engineering News Concentrate  "Sea Spray Aerosol Chemistry Clarified" by Jyllian Kemsley - See Article in Chemical & Engineering News, 91(37), September 16, 2013 [Science & Technology, Concentrates].  Way to go Andy!!!! 


September 9  - American Chemical Society holds press conference to announce funding of the Center for Aerosol Impacts on Climate and Environment (CAICE).  See Vicki Grassian and CAICE collegues describe the goals and purpose of CAICE joined by former ACS President Joseph Francisco and NSF Division of Chemistry Director Jaquelyn Gervay-Hague for a discussion on NSF’s major support of efforts in studying chemistry and climate. A recording of the discussion and press conference at the ACS National Meeting can be viewed at:


August 26 - Welcome to new Grassian group members Matt Burian and Zhen Qin who will be starting research this Fall semester. 


August 15 - Good luck to Dr. Gayan Rubasinhege in his new position at St. Cloud State University!!  


August 1 - Goodbye to REU student James Dillon, we wish him great success in his last year at the University of Pittsburgh


June 6 – Imali Mudunkotuwa wins best poster award at the Gordon Research Conference on Environmental Nanotechnology. Congratulations Imali on a job well done!!!


June 1 – Grassian group warmly welcomes new graduate students Alaa Al Minshid and Jon Trueblood and new undergraduate REU student James Dillon!!


May 31 – Grassian Group says goodbye to postdoc Dr. Andy Ault.  Andy is starting a faculty position at the University of Michigan. We will miss him and wish him the best of luck as a new Assistant Professor!! The Grassian group after Andy's farewell lunch on the left.

May 28 – RSC Publishing announces new journal “Environmenal Science:Nano” and appoints Vicki Grassian as the Editor-in-Chief see journal announcement at and journal web page

April 9 – Aruni Gankanda wins second place in the Math, Physical & Engineering Sciences Division of the 2013 Jakobsen Graduate Conference – congratulations Aruni! This follows a six year Grassian group tradition with Olga Laskina and Induni Siriwardane winning second and third place last year and other winners in previous years include: Gayan Rubansinghege and Imali Mudunkotuwa (Second and third place in 2011), Gayan Rubasinghege (First place in 2010), Pragati Galhotra (First place in 2009) and Sherrie Elzey (first place in 2008).



April 3 – Congratulations Andy Ault and CAICE collaborators on the just published  paper entitled Raman microspectroscopy and vibrational sum frequency generation spectroscopy as probes of the bulk and surface compositions of size-resolved sea spray aerosol particles by Andrew P. Ault,  Defeng Zhao,  Carlena J. Ebben,  Michael J. Tauber ,  Franz M. Geiger,  Kimberly A. Prather and Vicki H. Grassian Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2013,15, 6206-6214 DOI: 10.1039/C3CP43899F


Way to go team!                 



March 20 – Haihan Chen leaves for UC-Irvine where she will postdoc with Barbara Finlayson-Pitts. Good luck Haihan!!


February 1 –  Gayan Rubasinghege and Vicki Grassian publish a feature article in ChemComm entitled “Role(s) of Adsorbed Water in the Surface Chemistry of Environmental Interfaces”.  This article summarizes over a decade of research on the impact of water on the reaction chemistry of oxide and carbonate interfaces from the Grassian group. Great job Gayan! Role(s) of Adsorbed Water in the Surface Chemistry of Environmental Interfaces Chem. Commun., 2013, DOI: 10.1039/C3CC38872G




December 15 – Whitney Larish joins the Grassian research group – welcome Whitney!

December 3 – Andrew Ault, Haihan Chen, Olga Laskina and Gayan Rubasinhege did a great job at the Fall AGU meeting in San Francisco. All presented posters, way to go Andy, Haihan, Olga and Gayan!

November 29 – Collaborative research with UK scientist on protective coatings of historic monumenets, e.g. Yorkminster cathedral, from attack by sulfur dioxide and sulfate aerosols is highlighted. See Gary Galluzzo’s press release: UI researchers help find way to protect historic limestone buildings

November 14 – Review article by Haihan Chen and Charith Nanayakkara entitled “Titanium Dioxide Photocatalysis in Atmospheric Chemistry” published in Chemical Reviews (Chem. Rev., 2012, 112, 5919–5948 )is published!!! This article immediately made its way into the monthly top 20 most read articles – way to go Haihan and Charith on writing this timely review!



November 1 – Welcome Hayder Alalwan and Joshua Grandquist to the Grassian Research Group! Both Hayder and Josh are pursuing Ph.D. degrees in Chemical and Biochemical Engineering.




September 5th - See Vicki Grassian's Prized Science Video produced by the American Chemical Society.




Haihan Chen with Gregory Carmichael and Vicki Grassian

Induni Siriwardane on the Old Capitol steps



August 1st – Congratulations to Dr. Jonas Baltrusaitis on his new job as an Assistant Professor at the University of Twente in the Netherlands. Jonas has been associated with the Grassian group for nearly a decade and he will be greatly missed. Best of luck Jonas !!!

July 12th – Congratulations to Haihan Chen for successfully defending her Ph.D. dissertation!!

July 9th – Congratulations to Induni Siriwardane for completing an M.S. with thesis – good luck to her!!

June 1st – The Grassian group welcomes Saralyn Ogden from Utah Valley University and Jacob Lyon from St. Ambrose University.

May 10th – Imali Mudunkotuwa receives the A. Lynn Anderson Research Excellence Award from the Department of Chemistry. Congratulations Imali!

April 20th – Haihan Chen receives the 2012 Kammermeyer Research Award from the Department of Chemical and Biochemical Engineering. Congratulations Haihan on a job well done!

March 27th – Congratulations to Vicki Grassian for receiving the ACS Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology sponsored by ACS Division of Environmental Chemistry.

Vicki Grassian receives the 2012 ACS Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology from ACS President Bassam Z. Shakhashiri (left) and Mr. Henry Ramsey, Chair of the ACS Division of Environmental Chemistry (right). Image courtesy of ACS Cutts Photography.

March 24th – Olga Laskina and Induni Siriwardane win second and third place in the Math, Physical & Engineering Sciences (MPE) Division at the 2011 James F. Jakobsen Graduate Conference. Congratulations to both Olga and Induni for a job well done! This is the fifth year in a row a graduate student in the Grassian group has won a place (Gayan Rubansinghege and Imali Mudunkotuwa (Second and third place in 2011), Gayan Rubasinghege (First place in 2010), Pragati Galhotra (First place in 2009) and Sherrie Elzey (first place in 2008).


11/1/11 – Andrew Ault and Vicki Grassian go to San Diego to participate in the CAICE intensive (Center for Aerosol Impacts on Climate and the Environment – See what Vicki had to say in her blog: "What can we learn about atmospheric aerosols from this "Ocean in a Lab"?"
See what Andy had to say in his blog: "Single Particle Microscopy and Spectroscopy"
8/30/2011– Congratulations Vicki Grassian for joining the 2011 class of ACS Fellows see list of all 2011 Fellows at

8/28/2011 – Nanomaterials and the Environment Workshop Report is complete and can now be downloaded on line at http://nsfenv–

8/1/2011 – Congratulations to Thilini Rupasinghe for completing an M.S. with thesis

7/1/2011 – Congratulations to Dr. Gayan Rubasinghege for successfully defending his Ph.D. dissertation. Nice job Gayan!!

6/28/2011 and 6/29/2011 – Vicki Grassian and Bob Hamers (Wisconsin) co–chair an NSF–funded workshop entitled "Nanomaterials and the Environment: The Chemistry and Material Science Perspectives" Participants and agenda for the workshop can be found at http://nsfenv– Look there for the workshop report which should be forthcoming!!!

5/23/2011 – REU student Caitlyn McGuire from Truman State University joins the Grassian group– welcome Caitlyn!!

5/17/2011 – Lahiru Wijenayaka passed his Ph.D. comprehensive exam – Congratulations to Lahiru!

04/25/2011 – Dr. Andrew Ault comes to the University of Iowa as a postdoc from Kim Prather's group at UCSD – welcome Andy!!

04/20/2011 – Our recent work on "An abiotic mechanism for the formation of N2O from ammonium nitrate" published in Environmental Science and Technology has been highlighted in Nature Chemistry. (page 339 on website). Nature Chemistry is a monthly journal dedicated to publishing high–quality papers that describe the most significant and cutting–edge research in all areas of chemistry. Link for the article on ES&T –

03/26/ 2011 – Gayan Rubansinghege and Imali Mudunkotuwa win second and third place in the Math, Physical & Engineering Sciences (MPE) Division at the 2011 James F. Jakobsen Graduate Conference. This is the forth year in a row a graduate student in the Grassian group has won a place (Gayan Rubasinghege (First place in 2010), Pragati Galhotra (First place in 2009) and Sherrie Elzey (first place in 2008)). Congratulations to both Imali and Gayan for a job well done!

03/26/2011 – 03/31/2011 – Gayan Rubasinghege and Imali Mudunkotuwa presented their research work in the 241st ACS National Meeting, Spring 2011.

1/3/2011 – The Grassian group welcomes new graduate students Olga Laskina, Aruni Gankanda and Induni Siriwardane to the group. Welcome to all three!


11/22/2010 – Haihan Chen passes her comprehensive exam! Congratulations Haihan on a job well done!

11/13/2010 – Imali Mudunkotuwa and Gayan Rubansinghege win first and second place poster presentation awards, respectively, at the NOBCChE Midwest Regional Conference. Congratulations to both Imali and Gayan for a job well done!

10/15/2010 – Wond Anbessie a graduate student in the Chemical and Biochemical Engineering program joins the Grassian group. Welcome Wond!

9/13/10 – Vicki Grassian named F. Wendell Miller Professor see for more details.

8/25/10 – Dan Altman, Environmental Engineering, joins the Grassian group on a joint project with Professor Michelle Scherer's lab. Welcome Dan!

7/15/10 – Pragati Galhotra has successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation – congratulations Pragati!! She is now going to the SF bay area to work and to meet up with her husband who is already there. We will miss her and wish her good luck!!

7/01/10 – Award winning publication – the recent article Peters et al. on single particle analysis – size and composition – of particulate matter in an industrial facility that produces nanomaterials for fuel cell applications has recently received two best papers awards– David L. Swift Memorial Outstanding Aerosol Paper Award in 2009 and Michican Industrial Hygiene Society Best Paper Award in 2009. Congratulations to the team which includes Julie Park and Sherrie Elzey now former members of the Grassian group for their work on this award winning publication!!

6/15/10 – Welcome REU students Rebecca Lindquist, Patrick Kyei and José R. Rivera–Negrón to the Grassian group. We are glad you are here and hope you have a great summer and a great research experience!!

6/2/10 – A Physical Chemistry Perspective Article "Reactions on Atmospheric Dust Particles: Surface Photochemistry and Size–Dependent Nanoscale Redox Chemistry" by Rubansinghege, Baltrusaitis, Jayaweera, Elzey and Grassian has been published. Please see the journal article, cover art and video which describes some of our most recent studies on mineral dust and nanodust here:
Journal article:
Cover art:

5/15/10 – Sherrie Elzey has successfully defended her Ph.D. dissertation "Applications and Physicochemical Characterization of Nanomaterials in Environmental, Health, and Safety Studies". Congratulations Sherrie on her accomplishments as a graduate student!!! We wish her well as she moves to the next step in her career

3/27/10 – Gayan Rubasinghege receives 1st place in the Math, Physical & Engineering Sciences (MPE) Division at the 2010 James F. Jakobsen Graduate Conference. This is the third year in a row a graduate student in the Grassian group has received first place (Pragati Galhotra in 2009 and Sherrie Elzey in 2008). Congratulations Gayan on a job well done!

1/1/10 – Grassian group wishes Dr. Hongbo Fu good luck and farewell as he returns to Fudan University in Shanghai, China.

1/3/10 – Vicki Grassian is elected to Vice–Chair of the Colloid and Surface Chemistry Division of the American Chemical Society. This is a three–year appointment with positions of Chair–Elect and Chair held in years two and three of the appointment.


12/31/09 – Grassian group says goodbye and good luck to Dr. Julie Park who is going to Marquette University to do postdoctoral research with Dr. Adam Fiedler. We will miss Julie who has been at the University of Iowa for some time as a Ph.D. student and postdoc.

12/15/09 – Grassian group welcomes new graduate students to the group – Thilline Rupasinghe and Lahiru Wijenayaka.

8/15/09 – John Pettibone leaves for a NRC postdoctoral position at NIST – Good luck John!

8/1/09 – Juan Navea leaves Iowa to begin a position as an Assistant Professor of Chemistry at Lawrence University in Appleton Wisconsin

7/16/09 – John Pettibone defended his thesis! Congratulations, John!

7/7/09 – Grassian group welcomes a new postdoc Shaowei Bian from Institute of Chemistry, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China, who's graduate adviser is a former postdoc Dr. Weiguo Song

6/1/09 – Grassian group welcomes Summer undergraduate researchers: Robbie Lentz from University of Michigan, Jen Knapp from Wittenberg University, Springfield OH, Olga Laskina from St. Petersburg Technological Institute, St. Petersburg, Russia

4/2/09 – Undergraduate Tricia Abernathy has been chosen to do research at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory this summer under the Department of Energy's Undergraduate Summer Research Internship Program to work on fuel cell research. Congratulations Tricia on receiving this highly competitive internship!!!

4/1/09 – Gayan Rubasinghege has passed his comprehensive exam and now moves to postcomp status. Congratulations Gayan!!

3/31/09 – John Pettibone has received an NRC postdoctoral fellowship to work at the National Institutes of Standards. Awardees are chosen through a national competition administered by the National Research Council of the National Academy of Sciences. Congratulations John on receving this highly competitive fellowship!!!

3/28/09 – Pragati Galhotra is a poster award winner (1st place) in the Math, Physical & Engineering Sciences (MPE) Division at the 2009 James F. Jakobsen Graduate Conference. This is the second year in a row a graduate student in the Grassian group has received first place (Sherrie Elzey last year). Way to go Pragati!!

2/14/09 – Mini issue "Physical Chemistry of Environmental Interfaces" is published in the Journal of Physical Chemistry C. Guest Editors: Franz Geiger, Howard Fairbrother, Vicki Grassian and John Hemminger.

1/15/09 – Grassian group welcomes graduate student Chia–Ming (Allen) Wu.


12/10/08 – Grassian group welcomes new graduate students Imali Mudunkotuwa and Charith Nanayakkara.

12/3/08 – Sherrie Elzey passes her comprehensive exam – congratulations Sherrie!

12/1/08 – Grassian group moves out of temporary labs and back into the IATL.

11/11/08 – Graduate College selects Vicki Grassian to receive the Outstanding Mentoring Award (see http://news–

10/15/08 – Haihan Chen finished her M.S. at Fudan University and now has joined the Grassian group to work on her Ph.D. Welcome Haihan!

8/1/08 – Jonas Baltrusaitis' Ph.D. dissertation wins University of Iowa thesis award!! Graduate College has selected his thesis for a Graduate Deans Distinguished Dissertation Award for 2008 – Congratulations Jonas!!

7/20/08 – Dr. Courtney Hatch leaves Iowa to begin her new faculty position at Hendrix College. Good luck to Courtney and her family!!

7/10/08 – Courtney Hatch's review article â'Applications of analytical techniques in laboratory studies of the chemical and climatic impacts of mineral dust aerosol in the Earth's atmosphere” by Hatch and Grassian has been published as a special 10th Anniversary Review in the Journal of Environmental Monitoring.

7/10/08 – Jennifer Schuttlefield defends her thesis – Congratulations Dr. Schuttlefield!!! She is now moving west to begin a postdoc position with Professor Bruce Parkinson.

7/7/08 – Visiting scholar Hongbo Fu from Fudan University comes to do the University of Iowa research on Fe–containing mineral dust aerosol. Welcome!

7/1/08 – The Grassian research group welcomes new postdoc Dr. James Zahardis who comes to the University of Iowa after finishing his Ph.D. at the University of Vermont.

6/12/08 – Grassian group evacuates out of IATL due to flooding of the caused by the Iowa River and moves to the Chemistry Building where they will be temporarily located.

6/8/08 – Claire Doskey from Knox College comes to Iowa to participate in research in the Grassian group through the NSF REU program hosted by the Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute at UI.

5/5/08 – Courtney Hatch has a new beautiful baby boy. Both mom and baby are doing great – congratulations!

4/17/08 – Pragati Galhotra passes her comprehensive exam. Congratulations Pragati on a job well done!!

3/29/08 – Sherrie wins first place at Math, Physical, and Engineering Sciences Division at the Jakobsen Graduate Conference for a poster presentation and paper, titled "FTIR Study of the Selective Catalytic Reduction of NO2 with Ammonia on Nanocrystalline NaY and CuY". Great job Sherrie!!!

2/10/08 – Pradeep M. Jayaweera from Department of Chemistry University at Sri Jayewardenepura, Nugegoda, Sri Lanka joins Grassian group – welcome Pradeep!

2/1/08 – Julie (Heaweon) Park joins the Grassian group – welcome Julie!

01/26/08 – Gayan Rubasinghege and his wife welcomed a baby boy 7 1/2 lbs

01/15/08 – Welcome new Postdocs Larissa Stebounova and Asif Rahaman


12/1/07 – Min Huang (Chemical and Biochemical Engineering), Gayan Rubasinghege (Chemistry) and Ryan Wright (Chemistry) join the Grassian research group. Min is co–advised by Professor Greg Carmichael. Welcome to all three!!!

11/15/07 – Sherrie Elzey puts together a new tandem nano–DMA apparatus for her research on nanoparticles. Nice going Sherrie!

9/24/07 – Vicki Grassian gives a tutorial at AAAR entitled â'Inhalation Toxicology of Nanomaterials” in Reno, Nevada.

9/15/07 – Jonas Baltrusaitis and Jenny Schuttlefield get Inside Cover Art posted on the PCCP website, see The paper can be found here:

8/15/07 – David Cwiertny leaves to start his faculty position in the Department of Chemical and Environmental Engineering at the University of California–Riverside. Good luck to David in his new position!!!

6/27/07 – Jonas Baltrusaitis successfully defends his dissertation entitled "Experimental and Theoretical Studies of the Adsorption of Atmospherically Relevant Gases on Metal Oxide and Carbonate Surfaces". Nice job Dr. Baltrusaitis!

6/15/07 – Drs. Paula Hudson and Dan Curtis move to southern California to start their new positions at Cal State Fullerton and UCLA, respectively. Good luck Paula and Dan in your new positions!

6/1/07 – Jason Bone joins the Grassian group for summer undergraduate research. Welcome Jason!

4/23/07 – Praveen Mogili successfully defends his dissertation entitled "Heterogeneous Chemistry and Optical Properties of Mineral Dust Aerosol". Congratulations Dr. Mogili!

4/20/07 – Lizzie Gibson successfully defends her dissertation entitled "Mineral Dust Aerosol Chemistry and Climate". Congratulations Dr. Gibson!

4/15/07 – Sherrie Elzey is named a National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship Awardee. Way to go Sherrie! See http://news––fellowship.html

3/1/07 – Schuttlefield, Al–Hosney, Zachariah and Grassian article is highlighted on the cover of the Journal of Applied Spectroscopy. See

3/1/07 – Article by Baltrusaitis, Usher and Grassian in Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics on sulfur dioxide reactions on carbonate surfaces is designated as Hot! See

2/22/07 – Vicki Grassian named Collegiate Fellow. See:


2/12/06 – Dr. Courtney Hatch comes to Iowa from CU–Boulder to work with Professors Vicki Grassian and Gregory Carmichael on a joint project with Kim Prather's group at UCSD. We're glad to have her!

12/15/06 – Graduate student Pragati Galhotra joins the Grassian research group. Welcome Pragati!

10/26/06 – Gibson, Hudson and Grassian feature article is highlighted on the cover of the Journal of Physical Chemistry A.

9/10/06 – Sustainability and Chemistry Workshop report "Chemistry for a Sustainable Future" is now available at

8/24/06Vicki Grassian named Director of the new Nanoscience and Nanotechnology Institute at the University of Iowa

7/21/06 – Postdoc Dr. Juan Navea from Baylor University joins the Grassian research group to work on a joint project with Professors Charlie Stanier and Mark Young. Welcome Juan!!

7/1/06 – Postdoc Kevin Knagge leaves for a job with Bruker Instruments – good luck Kevin!

6/12/06 – Vicki Grassian receives the Regents Award for Faculty Excellence see press release at for further details.

6/01/06 – Undergraduates David Cox and Jacyln Schwarz join the Grassian research group.

5/30/06 – Vicki Grassian co–chairs with Gerald Meyer (Johns Hopkins University) a National Science Foundation Workshop on Chemistry and Sustainability. Look for the workshop report soon to be posted on the UI and NSF websites.

5/01/06 – Lizzie Gibson is awarded a was awarded a 2006 GCEP Graduate Research Environmental Fellowship from the Department of Energy.

4/15/07 – New AFM arrives from Asylum and is installed. Courtney Usher is working on getting the environmental chamber working and using phase and polarization capabilities of the new instrument to study surface reactions on environmental interfaces.

4/01/06 – Dan Curtis and collaborators (Mark Young and Paul Kleiber) finish laser scattering apparatus to measure angle resolved scatter of the components of mineral dust aerosol.

3/15/06 – Jonas Baltrusaitis gets student travel grant to attend the GRC on Chemistry at Interfaces

2/15/06 – Jennifer Schuttlefield finishes the design, construction and implementation of a flow cell quartz crystal microbalance for making simultaneous ATR FTIR Spectroscopic and QCM Measurements to quantify water uptake on clays and other components of mineral dust aerosol. Way to go Jenny!

01/28/06 Lizzie (Johnson) Gibson is pictured in the latest 2006 winter issue of Chemistry, a publication of the American Chemical Society (see Lizzie was photographed (three times!) talking to several Nobel Prize winning chemists at the 55th Meeting of Nobel Laureates in Lindau, Germany.


12/16/05 Ann Zachariah and Joanna Sciegienka graduate with Honors in Chemistry and Environmental Sciences, respectively Congratulations and good luck to both of them as they continue on with their studies.

12/10/05 Welcome new Grassian group members graduate students – Sherrie Elzey (Chemical Engineering), Kelly Gierlus (Chemistry) and Gordy Hunter (Chemistry)

12/01/05 Shannon Stout submits the final draft of her M.S. Thesis entitled â'Adsorption/Desorption and Oxidation Studies of 2–Chloroethyl Ethyl Sulfide on Nanocrystalline Zeolites” to the Graduate College.

11/01/05 MAARS (Multi–Analysis Aerosol Reactor System) has been tested and works. The instrument is now being used to study the heterogeneous chemistry, optical properties, hygroscopic growth and CCN activity of mineral dust aerosol and reacted mineral dust aerosol. Nice going Paula and Lizzie!

11/01/05 Despite problems with delivered equipment, Kratos Ultra Axis XPS system begins to crank out high quality data!!! Nice going Jonas!.

10/30/05 Grassian elected Fellow of AAAS (see news release at–fellows.html)

10/15/05 Welcome Dr. David Cwiertny to Iowa. David joins us from Johns Hopkins University and will work on a joint project with Professor Michelle Scherer, Environmental Engineering.

10/05/05 Good news! A paper "Heterogeneous uptake and reactivity of formic acid on calcium carbonate particles: a Knudsen cell reactor, FTIR and SEM study" by Hashim A. Al–Hosney, Sofia Carlos–Cuellar, Jonas Baltrusaitis and Vicki H. Grassian has been published (Phys. Chem. Chem. Phys., 2005, 7(20), 3509). The figure from the paper became cover art for the same issue of the journal. Check it out online at:

07/19/05 Group is left to starve to death during tomorrow's group meeting, cause Jonas was busy editing groups web page

07/11/05 Hashim Ali defended his Ph. D. thesis. Now he is out of here!

Scholar of the Year