Hoyt C. Hottel Lecture in Chemical Engineering – 2003

“The Impact of Combustion Emissions on the Atmosphere: New Tools and Techniques”


Dr. Charles E. Kolb
President, Aerodyne Research, Inc.

Friday, October 24, 2003
3:00pm, Landau Building 66-110
Massachusetts Institute of Technology


Dr. Kolb is currently President and Chief Executive Officer of Aerodyne Research, Inc. (http://www.Aerodyne.com) He joined Aerodyne as a Senior Research Scientist in 1971. Since joining Aerodyne, his personal areas of research have included atmospheric and environmental chemistry, combustion chemistry, chemical lasers, materials chemistry, and the chemical physics of rocket and aircraft exhaust plumes. He is the author or co-author of over 150 archival publications in these fields.

In the area of atmospheric and environmental chemistry, Dr. Kolb initiated Aerodyne’s programs for the identification and quantification of sources and sinks of trace atmospheric gases and aerosols involved in regional and global pollution problems, as well as the development of spectral sensing techniques to quantify soil pollutants. Specific atmospheric instrumentation developments include innovative tunable infrared laser differential absorption spectrometer (TILDAS) instruments for both remote, open path and in situ sampling measurements and aerosol mass spectrometers for real-time analysis of airborne aerosol concentrations, size distributions and chemical compositions as a function of particle size. He has also motivated and designed chemical kinetic and molecular spectroscopy laboratory programs which provide gas phase and gas/surface kinetic rate parameters for atmospheric modeling and quantitative spectroscopic parameters needed to design in situ measurements of trace species important in tropospheric, stratospheric and mesospheric photochemistry. He has also developed models of aircraft and rocket exhaust plume/wake chemical kinetics, condensation physics and dispersion processes critical to the systematic assessment of the impact of aerospace systems on the chemical structure of the upper troposphere and stratosphere.

He has been a member of numerous government and National Academy of Sciences/National Research Council committees dealing with atmospheric and environmental chemistry issues. Dr. Kolb received the 1997 Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science and Technology from the American Chemical Society. He has been elected a fellow of the American Physical Society, the Optical Society of America, the American Geophysical Union, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and has served as the atmospheric sciences editor of the journal, Geophysics Research Letters (1995-1999).

He earned an S.B. in Chemistry from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1967, an M.A. in Physical Chemistry from Princeton University in 1968 and a Ph.D. in Physical Chemistry from Princeton University in 1971.