The UNC Institute for the Environment (IE) has a multifaceted mission: (1) To strengthen environmental research capacity across UNC by supporting a multi-disciplinary community of scholars that enhances collaboration, increases sharing of knowledge, and identifies solutions to the world’s critical environmental problems. (2) To work in partnership across UNC and with external partners to coordinate and deliver 21st century educational programs that provide students with the experience and skills to thrive in a growing global economy. (3) To put new environmental knowledge into action by engaging and serving communities, here in North Carolina and around the world. (4) To fuel and harness the university’s sustainability activities through the Sustainable Carolina Initiative
Position Summary: A postdoctoral research project training opportunity is currently available at the Institute for the Environment with the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. This appointment will be in the Institute’s Center for Environmental Modeling and Policy Development (IE-CEMPD).
The selected candidate will work with Dr. Sarav Arunachalam in IE-CEMPD, to develop a new local-scale dispersion model for aircraft sources. The candidate will work on the following tasks: a) Perform literature review to assess current state-of-the-art in local-scale dispersion models and assess limitations and gaps b) Develop framework for developing a new modeling system for modeling complex mix of emissions sources at an airport, with specific focus on aircraft sources c) Develop new modeling system that takes into account accurate source characterization, physical and chemical processes related to aircraft emissions during takeoff and landing activities that impact local air quality, d) Perform model evaluation by comparison with observations from field studies, e) collaborate with other stakeholders, and f) develop peer reviewed publications and project reports.
Beyond these tasks, the chosen candidate will also have an opportunity to work with other ongoing projects within IE-CEMPD in the field of emissions, air quality and climate modeling, to be mentored by the PI to lead the development of new project ideas and develop grant proposals, and provide support to junior staff / graduate students on related tasks.
Minimum Education and Experience Requirements: Ph.D. in Atmospheric Sciences, Environmental Sciences and Engineering or Equivalent
Required Qualifications, Competencies, and Experience: The ideal candidate should have a strong background in microscale meteorology, and numerical modeling techniques with an understanding of local-scale physical and chemical processes from multiple emissions sources as represented in current models, and quantitative analysis of models and observational data using Python, Matlab, R, etc.
Preferred Qualifications, Competencies, and Experience: Additional desired qualifications are a) strong communication skills – written and oral, b) ability to develop/translate model algorithms and develop new model code in Fortran, c) software skills needed to work with multiple observed and model datasets, d) a strong desire/motivation to develop scientific analyses of environmental problems for decision-making in support of national and international policies, and e) ability to work in a large multi-disciplinary team environment.