Air Quality Research Program

Faculty     Programs     Education     Research Team





Dr. David Allen

The Reese Professor in Chemical Engineering;
Director, Center for Energy and Environmental Resources;
Chairman, Texas Council on Environmental Technology; 
Ph.D. California Institute of Technology (1983);
Presidential Young Investigator (1986);
AT&T Foundation Fellow in Industrial Ecology (1993);
Award for Excellence in Teaching (UCL A, 1986

Dr. David Allen (Chemical Engineering Web Page)

Bio. Sketch






Air Resources Engineering

    The University of Texas at Austin has developed one of the world's largest and most active programs in Air Resources Engineering.  The group focusing on outdoor air quality, under the direction of Professor David T. Allen,  currently includes approximately 15 graduate students, 4 professional research staff, and 5 undergraduate researchers in three academic departments.  Research activities within the group fall into four broad categories: sources of air pollution, laboratory investigations of atmospheric physical and chemical processes, ambient air quality monitoring, ambient air quality modeling, indoor air quality, and air pollution control. 

Sources of Air Pollution

    The design of effective strategies for improving air quality relies on knowledge of the relative importance and chemical characteristics of sources of air pollution.  The University of Texas at Austin researchers are involved in numerous studies intended to improve the current state of understanding of a wide range of sources that emit hazardous air pollutants (HAPs), volatile organic compounds (VOCs), oxides of nitrogen (NOx), and particulate matter.  In the past several years, The University of Texas at Austin researchers have conducted studies of emissions due to natural vegetation, automotive refueling, and agricultural burning.  In addition, comprehensive emission inventories have been prepared for individual cities.

Laboratory Investigations of Atmospheric Physical and Chemical Processes  

    Laboratory studies of the fundamental physical and chemical processes that control the fate and transport of air pollutants complement the activities on source characterization. Laboratory chambers are used to characterize the chemical pathways important in ozone formation and the chemical pathways that convert gas-phase VOCs into organic matter in atmospheric particulates. The chemical mechanisms and gas-to-particle conversion rates identified in these studies can be used directly in airshed models and reveal the relative importance of different VOC constituents in particle and ozone formation. The chemistry of liquid and solid particulate matter formed over the Gulf of Mexico (marine aerosols) and the cycling of chlorine in the atmosphere are also being investigated.

Ambient Air Quality Monitoring

    Another group of projects focuses on characterizing air quality in Texas cities.  During the past two years, UT researchers have done ambient monitoring in Austin, Dallas, Longview, San Antonio, Tyler, and Victoria.  Samples are taken from ground-based stations and from aircraft operated by collaborating institutions, the measuring both gas-phase and particulate-phase air pollutants.  Measurements are used to calibrate air quality models such as the Urban Airshed Model (UAM) or the Comprehensive Air Quality Model with extensions (CAMx) which, in turn, are used to evaluate emission reduction strategies. 

    Two major air quality monitoring initiatives are planned for the Year 2000 and beyond.  To assure that air pollution policies in Texas are based on sound science, local, state, and national air quality experts, led by the Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission and Professor Allen at the University of Texas, developed the largest air quality field study ever undertaken in Texas.  The work is designed to improve understanding of the chemical and physical processes that control air pollutant formation and transport along the Gulf Coast of southeastern Texas.  The details of the study are described at the web site  Complementing the comprehensive air quality study will be a focussed, 4-year sampling and analysis program for fine particulate matter, funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  This Gulf Coast Aerosol Research and Characterization program is one of 7 particulate matter research “supersites” established by the U.S. EPA nationwide (  Together, these programs will play a major role in defining the scientific understanding that underlies air quality management in Texas for the next decade.

Ambient Air Quality Modeling

    Professor Allen and Dr. Elena McDonald-Buller direct a program that performs regional air quality modeling.  The focus is on characterizing the effectiveness of control strategies in Texas.  Modeling has been performed for individual cities, such as Victoria and Austin, as well as for the State as a whole. The modeling group utilizes both regulatory modeling tools, such as the Comprehensive Air Quality Model with extensions (CAMx), as well as research tools such as the SAPRC chemical kinetics model.
    The modeling activities serve as a focal point for all of the outdoor air quality activities of the UT group, since the models integrate the best available understanding of emissions, atmospheric chemical processes and atmospheric physical processes into a tool that can be used to evaluate the effectiveness of air quality policies.


    Complementing the extensive research program is an equally extensive program in graduate, undergraduate and public education.  The UT faculty offers its students seven courses related to Air Resources Engineering on a regular basis, making it one of the largest Air Resources Engineering academic programs in the world.   Courses include:

4  Air Pollution Engineering     4      Air Pollution Control 
4  Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics 4      Air Quality Monitoring
4  Atmospheric Dispersion Modeling   4      Air Pollution Toxicology
4    Sources of Air Pollution (indoor and outdoor)      

Professional short courses are also offered several times each year, and UT also serves as a major contributor to a summer institute for middle and high school teachers.











Elena McDonald-Buller

Air Quality Modeling



Yosuke Kimura

Air Quality Modeling



Gary McGaughey

Air Quality Modeling



Cynthia Murphy

Design for Environment


Allen Jarett Spinhirne Analytical Laboratory Manager M.S.
Allen Dave Sullivan Air Quality Data Analysis Ph.D.


 Dissertation / Thesis Title
DEGREE Completion Date
Allen Linlin Wang Inter-Pollutant and Reactivity-Weighted Air Pollutant Emission Trading in Texas Ph.D. 2006
Allen Uarporn Nopmongcol Heterogeneous Reactions on Atmospheric Carbonaceous Particles Ph.D. 2005
Allen Sunghye Chang Atmospheric Chlorine Chemistry in Southeast Texas:  Impacts on Ozone and Particulate Matter Formation and Control Ph.D. 2005
Allen Jennifer Schiffelbein Lasseter Comparison of Predicted Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation from Isoprene to Aerosol Formation from Monoterpene Reactions in Southeast Texas M.S. 2005
Allen Will Vizuete Implementation of Process Analysis in a Three-Dimensional Air Quality Model Ph.D. 2005
Allen Thomas Pavlovic The Impact of Ammonia Emissions on Atmospheric Particulate Matter Formation in Texas M.S. 2005
Allen Ji Hee Song Comparison of Observed and Modeled Isoprene Concentrations in Southeast Texas during the Texas Air Quality Study M.S. 2004
Allen Junsang Nam Observational Evidence of VOC Emission Variability in the Houston Galveston Area (HGA) M.S. 2004
Allen / Mullins Paul Tanaka The Contribution of Chloring Radicals to Tropospheric Ozone Formation in Southeastern Texas Ph.D. 2004
Allen Victoria Junquera Inventory of Emissions of Gaseous Compounds and Particulate Matter from Wildfires in East Texas, USA in August and September 2000 and Comparison with Aircraft Measurements M.S. 2004
Allen Will Vizuete Uncertainties in Biogenic Emission Estimates and Predicted Sesquiterpene Emissions in Southeast Texas M.S. 2003
Allen Matthew Russell Predicting Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation Rates and Concentrations in Southeast Texas Ph.D. 2003
Allen Linlin Wang Evaluation of Inter-Pollutant Emission Trading in Austin, Texas M.S. 2003
Allen Wipawee Dechapanya Kinetic and Physic Models of Secondary Organic Aerosol Formation and their Application to Houston Conditions Ph.D. 2002
Allen Jean-Philippe Laurent Size-Distributions of Carbonyl and Aliphatic Groups in Ambient Aerosol Collected in Houston, Texas M.S. 2002
Allen Jennifer Schuppe Design of a Life Cycle Inventory Methodology for Semiconductor Manufacturing M.S. 2002
Allen Sunghye Chang Spatial and Temporal Impacts of Chlorine Chemistry on Ozone Formation in Southeastern Texas:  Development of Emission Inventories for Atomic Chlorine Precursors M.S. 2002
Allen Lucinda Garnes Size-Distributions of Organonitrates in Ambient Aerosol Collected in Houston, Texas M.S. 2001
Allen Ken Lemire Air Pollutant Source Attribution for Southeast Texas using 14C/12C Ratios M.S. 2001
Allen Randall Meyer Catalytic Dechlorination Ph.D. 2001
Allen Carolyn Nobel Evaluating the Air Quality Impacts of NOx Emission Trading Ph.D. 2001
Allen Ann Dennis Emissions of Particulate Matter from Burning Activities in Texas. M.S. 2000
Allen / Mullins Paul Tanaka Anthropogenic Chlorine and the Formation of Ozone in Simulated Urban Atmospheres M.S. 2000
Allen Tareq Al-Bahri Mechanistic Models of Catalytic Cracking Chemistry Ph.D. 1999
Allen Sarah Oldfield Chlorine:  Its Role in Affecting Ozone Formation in Houston. M.S. 1999
Allen Nicole Pauly Mobile Monitoring and Modeling of Ozone and Ozone Precursors in Texas.   M.S. 1999
Allen Matthew Russell Application of the Urban Airshet Model to Austin, Texas. M.S. 1999
Allen Christine Wiedinmyer Biogenic Hydrocarbons in Texas:  Source Characterization and Chemistry Ph.D. 1999
Allen Manuel Dekermenjian Chemistry of Organic Aerosol Formation from Biogenic and Anthropogenic Hydrocarbon Sources. Ph.D. 1998
Allen Carolyn Nobel A Model for Industrial Water Reuse: A Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Approach to Industrial Ecology. M.S. 1998
Allen Tamara Stiner Air Quality in San Antonio. M.S. 1998
Allen Wade Strange Development of a GIS Database for Estimating Biogenic Hydrocarbon Emissions in North Central Texas. M.S. 1998
Allen A. Beth Wittig Atmospheric Hydrocarbon Chemistry in Central Texas. Ph.D. 1998
Allen Roger Ramon Atmospheric Chemical Measurements and Trends in Central Texas M.S. 1997
Allen Sara Keckler A Material Reuse Model. M.S. 1997
Allen Alexandra Eusebi Composition of Aeorsol Formed by the Reactions of Hydrocarbons in Urban Atmospheres:  Smog Chamber and Field Measurements. Ph.D. 1996
Allen Audrey Holes FTIR Analysis of Aerosol Formed in the Photooxidation of Trimethylbenzene. M.S. 1996
Allen Dae Kim Dechlorination of Aromatics, Aliphatics, and Polyvinyl Chloride (PVC). Ph.D. 1996
Allen Nancy Steele Electric Vehicles and the Environment:  Assessing Waste Management for Spent Batteries. Ph.D. 1995
Allen Karen Wong Benzene Emissions and Chlorine Flows in the Chemical Manufacturing Industries. M.S. 1995
Allen Dae  Kim Catalytic Hydroprocessing of Chlorophenols M.S. 1993

This is “hidden text” and does not print.

Two parts of the UTPARE document are obtained from the UTPARE database:

(1) SUMMARY of Current, Pending and Completed Projects


(2) UTPARE Current, Pending and Completed Projects -- with ABSTRACTS.

Biographical Sketches and CVs for each Professor are also included.

This page was last updated January 23, 2007