Beth (Ann E.) Wittig
Ph. D. in Chemical Engineering (UT Austin, 1998)
Assistant Professor



Contact Information:


Office: (212) 650-8397
Steinman Hall T-104

Laboratory (212) 650-7890
Marshak Hall J-901

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RESEARCH  

 

Dr. Wittig’s research interests address air quality concerns in both the ambient and indoor environments. Her main research thrusts include instrumentation development, air quality modeling, urban air pollutant dispersion, and pedagogy practices.

 

Ambient air quality instrumentation

Our team is working on the development of a near real-time instrument capable of measuring the chemical functionality of ambient fine particles. This instrument will be used to validate remote sensing measurements collected by the NOAA-CREST center at CCNY. The instrument will be further refined as a result of our collaboration with MIRTHE scientists from Princeton University, Rice University, Texas A&M, Johns Hopkins, and the University of Maryland (UMBC). MIRTHE is an NSF ERC dedicated to the development of cutting-edge mid-infrared sensors and the integration of these sensors into instruments to provide high sensitivity, lost-cost sensors that can be used by the health and environmental communities.

 

  • Student contributor: Vilma Arriaran La Torre (graduate)

 

We also evaluated nitrogen measurements collected at the Pittsburgh Air Quality Study Supersite, to learn about the formation of HONO as a night-time reservoir of nitrogen species.

 

  • Student contributor: Eniko Csaszi (graduate) “The cycling and chemical kinetics of nitrous acid (HONO) in the ambient air.” Masters report, City College of New York, Spring 2006.

 

Ambient air quality modeling

Our team assembled a database of historical ambient air pollutant measurements, and then evaluated the data set to learn about the key drivers of air pollution events in NY.

 

  • Student contributors: Gillian Cain (undergraduate), Mindaugas Jablonskis (graduate) “Evaluation of the mechanisms of fine PM air quality events in NY.” Masters report, City College of New York, Spring 2006.

 

We also performed a systematic analysis of the response of the CMB receptor model to uncertainties in its input, and used the results to develop a novel way to quantify sources of reactive air pollutants that contribute to the ambient air quality of a domain.

 

  • Student contributor: Karan Budhathoki (graduate). “Evaluation of the CMB8.2 receptor model.” Masters report, City College of New York, Spring 2006.

 

Dispersion in complex urban environments

Our team is also developing a 0:48 physical scale model of a NYC subway station, for use in particle image velocimetry experiments to study the transport and dispersion of air pollutants in this complex environment.

 

  • Student contributors: Valentina Ponochovnaya (undergraduate), Gary Chan (undergraduate), Parminder Sahota (graduate architecture)

 

Engineering pedagogy

Prof. Wittig is also actively researching pedagogical practices for engineering curricula. This work has resulted in the development of a new core course for the Civil Engineering Department at CCNY called “Environmental Impact Assessment” to motivate environmental accountability in structural, transportation, and environmental engineering students. She is currently evaluating the effectiveness and motivational benefits afforded by the muriad problem-based activities performed by active student chapters of Engineers Without Borders.