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Faculty and Staff Profiles

Beth Wittig

Assistant Professor

School/Division

Grove School of Engineering

Department

Civil Engineering

Office

Steinman Hall T - 104

p: (212) 650-8397

f: (212) 650-6965

e: awittig@ccny.cuny.edu

  • Profile

    Dr. Wittig's expertise is in the measurement, evaluation, and modeling of volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and fine particulate matter (PM) species. While a consultant at Sonoma Technology Inc. in California, she acted as the field manager of the statewide "California Regional Particulate Matter Air Quality Study" (CRPAQS) measurement campaign. As a post-doctoral researcher at Carnegie Mellon University, she was the quality assurance manager for the EPA PM Supersite aka "Pittsburgh Air Quality Study" (PAQS) and was responsible for the near real-time measurements of inorganic gases and particulate matter components. At the Pittsburgh EPA PM Supersite, she also performed a rigorous analysis of the accuracy and precision of a near real-time method to measure inorganic PM composition, which resulted in guidelines for the use and interpretation of data from the particular instrument. Her more recent work through the NSF Engineering Research Center MIRTHE has resulted in a method development and critical assessment of the viability of using FTIR to measure fine particle composition. She also has experience in the evaluation of ambient air pollutant measurements to address specific program objectives. While a consultant, she statistically evaluated a 10-year dataset of VOC, NOx and O3 measurements collected across the state of California to reveal the impact of pollutant emissions reductions on ambient air quality when the effects of meteorology were also considered. At the Pittsburgh PM Supersite, she evaluated measurements of inorganic gases and particulate matter components collected over a 1-year period to investigate atmospheric processes. In recent years, she has developed an approach to measure the dispersion of air pollutants in complex indoor spaces such as subway stations. She statistically evaluated the dataset to reveal turbulence length scales and stability classes as a function of structural components, and also investigated the prospect of using Gaussian plume models in this type of environment as a planning tool to strategize egress and ventilation approaches. She has also assessed and developed source receptor models to identify the sources of reactive ambient air pollutants from ambient measurements of the pollutants. In recent years, she extended her work at the University of Texas to critically evaluate the accuracy of the Chemical Mass Balance source receptor model when used to resolve sources of reactive gases such as VOCs, and she developed a novel approach that incorporated photochemical aging into the model to improve model performance. She is also interested in the pedagogy of civil engineering education. She developed a new course intended to engage sophomore level CE students on environmental engineering concepts, and has studied the success of service learning and problem based learning through Engineers Without Borders on pedagogy. Recently, she began work to develop a textbook that incorporates the rigor of environmental engineering principles and practice into the philosophy of environmental impact assessment.

     

  • Education

    • Ph. D. in Chemical Engineering, University of Texas in Austin, 1998
    • Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society, 1998-Present
    • Academic Institute of Chemical Engineers Award for Teaching Excellence, 1993-1994 

     

  • Courses Taught

    • Environmental Impact Assessment
    • Fluid Mechanics
    • Air Pollution and Control
    • Air Quality Modeling
    • Air Pollution Measurement

     

  • Research Interests

    Develop new in-situ techniques for the near-real-time measurement of ambient aerosol Characterize and analyze the spatial and temporal variations in ambient pollutants and their precursors to reveal the impact of pollutant emissions on ambient air quality, pollutant lifecycle and fate, and the relationship between ambient air quality and the health of sensitive populations Develop novel source receptor modeling approaches to identify the sources of reactive air pollutants to ambient air quality Measure and model the transport and dispersion of air pollutants in complex indoor spaces to strategize egress and ventilation approaches Develop approaches to improve student learning in Civil Engineering programs via new course development, textbook development, and Engineers Without Borders activities

     

  • Publications

    Richmond-Bryant J., Wittig A.E., An Approach to the Study of Transport and Dispersion of Threat Agents in a Subway Station, Journal of Applied Security Research, 4: 68–78, 2009.

    Heald C.L., et al., Total observed organic carbon (TOOC) in the atmosphere: A synthesis of North American observations, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 8(7): 2007-2025, 2008.

    Wittig A., Allen D.T., Improvement of Chemical Mass Balance model for apportioning ambient sources of non-methane hydrocarbons using composite aged source profiles, Atmospheric Environment, 42: 1319-1337, 2008.

    Simon H., Wittig A.E., Allen D.T., Fine particulate matter emission inventories: Comparisons of emission estimates with observations from recent field programs. Journal of the Air and Waste Management Association, 58(2): 320-343, 2008.

    Wittig, A., Solomon, P., Preface to the Special issue of Atmospheric Environment for Particulate Matter Supersites Program and Related Studies, Atmospheric Environment 40: S179-S181, 2006. •Cabada, J.C., Khlystov, A., Wittig, A., Pilinis, C., and Pandis, S.N., Light scattering by fine particles during PAQS: Measurements and modeling, Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres 109: D16S03 (13 pages), 2004.

    Takahama, S., Wittig, A., Vayenas, D., Davidson, C.I., and Pandis, S.N., Modeling the diurnal variation of nitrate during the Pittsburgh Air Quality Study. Journal of Geophysical Research-Atmospheres 109: D16S06 (10 pages), 2004.

    Tang, W., Raymond, T., Wittig, A., Davidson, C.I., Pandis, S.N., Robinson, A.L., and Crist, K., Spatial Variations of PM2.5 during the Pittsburgh Air Quality Study, Aerosol Science and Technology 38: 80-90, 2004.

    Wittig, A., Anderson, N., Khlystov, A.K., Pandis, S.N., Davidson, C., Robinson, A.L., Pittsburgh Air Quality Study Supersite program overview, Atmospheric Environment 38: 3107-3125, 2004. •Wittig, A., Pandis, S.N., Hering, S.V., Kirby, B.W., Khlystov, A.K., Takahama, S., and Davidson, C.I., Semi-continuous PM2.5 inorganic composition measurements during the Pittsburgh Air Quality Study, Atmospheric Environment 38: 3201-3213, 2004.

    Hering, S.V., Kirby, B.W., Wittig, A., and Magliano, K., Wintertime spatial and temporal distribution of fine particulate nitrate in the San Joaquin Valley of California USA, Journal of Aerosol Science 32: 631-632, 2001.

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