Dr. James F. Pankow has been selected as the Maseeh Professor of Emerging Technologies in the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science. A professor with a joint appointment in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and in the Department of Chemistry in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, Pankow’s groundbreaking research spans many critical issues including how small particles are formed in the atmosphere and affect climate, measuring the levels of pesticides in degraded streams and rivers, and the chemistry of tobacco products - and how that chemistry promotes habit initiation and fosters long-term addiction.
Pankow is the author of more than 150 peer-reviewed publications, and four books. He received the 1999 American Chemical Society Award for Creative Advances in Environmental Science & Technology, and the 2005 Haagen-Smit Prize for his groundbreaking research on gas/particle partitioning, which is heavily used in air quality modeling and climate change research, and plays a fundamental role in controlling the delivery of nicotine and carcinogens from cigarette smoke. He has published many scientific articles on tobacco products and tobacco smoke, including articles relating to "second hand smoke." Dr. Pankow was elected to the National Academy of Engineering in 2009.
In 2013 Pankow was instrumental in securing funding to build “Gaia,” the new high-performance computer cluster at PSU. Gaia is 10 times more powerful than all the previously available computing power on campus. Gaia will be used by faculty from four departments to model the roles of particles in climate, the complex chemistry of urban smog, the chemistry of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, and how complex transportation systems may be constructed and operated with highest efficiency.
The Maseeh Professorship was established in 2004 by Dr. Fariborz Maseeh to recognize distinguished scholarship in the Maseeh College and to provide resources to further academic excellence. As with all previous honorees, Pankow’s appointment will last for a term of five years.