Professor McNeill joins Chemical Engineering

Assistant Professor V. Faye McNeill’s research is focused on understanding the chemical and physical processes that occur at environmental interfaces, and how they influence the chemical composition of the atmosphere. Her research program will combine laboratory and modeling studies, the results of which will improve our understanding of the effects of human activity on our environment and provide insight into practical approaches for pollution mitigation. She feels that this research area is a natural fit within the Chemical engineering department at Columbia, saying that “the unique background provided by a modern chemical engineering education, with its emphasis on the multiscale analysis of reactive systems, creates scholars well-suited to tackle the environmental problems facing us in coming decades.” The interdisciplinary nature of Professor McNeill’s work will likely lead to collaborative efforts within the campuswide environmental science community at Columbia, which is centrally organized through the Earth Institute.


Professor McNeill first developed an avid interest in atmospheric chemistry and aerosol science as an undergraduate at Caltech. After graduating with a B.S. degree in Chemical Engineering in 1999, she did her graduate studies at MIT, where she earned an M.S. in Chemical Engineering Practice in 2001 and a Ph.D. in Chemical Engineering in 2005. Her Ph.D. thesis work yielded new evidence that surface disordering exists on ice surfaces under stratospheric conditions, thus explaining the catalytic role that ice clouds play in polar stratospheric ozone depletion. From 2005-2007 she was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Washington Department of Atmospheric Sciences in Seattle. There she studied the effects of organic films at the surfaces of submicron aqueous aerosols on gas-aerosol interactions, and the viability of these films when subject to oxidation in the atmosphere.

For more information, please see the McNeill Group website.

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