Principal Investigator
Dr. Shantanu H Jathar
B.E. Mechanical Engineering, Government College of Engineering Pune, India
M.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Minnesota
Ph.D. Engineering and Public Policy, Carnegie Mellon University
Email: Shantanu.Jathar<at> Phone: (970) 491-8653
Curriculum Vitae

Shantanu has a Ph.D. from Carnegie Mellon University where he used numerical models and laboratory experiments to understand the atmospheric formation of organic aerosols from combustion sources such as cars, trucks, aircraft and wildfires. He worked as a post-doctoral scholar at the University of California, Davis where he was funded by the California Air Resources Board to improve the treatment of particulate matter in air quality models used for regulatory purposes. Shantanu’s research interests lie at the intersection of energy and the environment. By leveraging laboratory experiments and regional/global air quality models, he intends to study the atmospheric evolution and properties of air pollutants arising from energy systems, all in the interest of addressing future energy and environmental policy. Shantanu hails from the suburbs of Mumbai, India. He is married to Poorva (an electrical engineer) and is enjoying parenthood with his toddler, Vedant. In his spare time, he likes to run, bike, sip coffee and play the bansuri (bamboo flute).

PhD Student in Mechanical Engineering
Ali Akherati
B.Sc. Chemical Engineering, Amirkabir University of Technology (Tehran Polytechnic)
Email: Ali.Akherati<at>

Ali is currently using 3D modeling to understand the atmospheric formation of organic aerosols from combustion sources, particularly gasoline and diesel motor vehicles. He received his B.Sc. from Amirkabir University and has experience in using 3D models to simulate particulate air pollution. Ali is from a suburb of Tehran, Iran. He likes hiking, cycling, jogging and photography.


PhD Student in Mechanical Engineering
Shiva Tarun
B.E. Electronics Engineering, Amrita University
Email: Shiva.Chenna<at>

Shiva was born and bought up in India and has lived most of his life in Hyderabad. He recently finished his Bachelors in Electronics and Communication engineering from Amrita University and is currently enrolled in the Masters program in Mechanical engineering with an eye towards a PhD. Presently, his research is focussed on performing experiments to measure the formation of secondary organic aerosol  from wildfires and biomass burning. In his spare time, he enjoys hiking and loves playing racquetball.

MS Student in Mechanical Engineering
Naman Sharma
B.E. Mechanical Engineering, College of Roorkee, India
Email: Naman.Sharma<at>

Naman was born and brought up in Muzaffarnagar, India. He completed his Bachelor’s in Mechanical Engineering from the College of Engineering Roorkee, India. During his undergraduate studies, he studied cold flow properties of biofuels and helped improve biodiesel and biogas production using foodwaste as a feedstock. He is currently pursuing a Masters in Mechanical Engineering at CSU. As part of the LAQR group, he is working on measurement of volatility of primary organic aerosol emissions from three different cookstoves. In his free time, he likes to play cricket and soccer.

BS Student in Mechanical Engineering
Liam Lewane
Email: LLewane<at>

Liam was born and raised in Colorado and has lived in the Northern Front Range area for most of his life. He graduated (magna cum laude) from Front Range Community College with an A.S. in 2013 and has been pursuing a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering at CSU since the Fall of that year. He’s been an intern at CSU’s Engines and Energy Conversion Laboratory since 2014, where he’s had a hand in designing and installing infrastructure improvements, as well as mechanical solutions for various projects. As part of the Laboratory for Air Quality Research group, Liam has been involved in designing and building equipment for source emissions testing and is leading the development of the CSU Mobile Smog Chamber. While not at the lab or studying, Liam spends most of his time working, relaxing, and playing in the mountains.

BS Student in Mechanical Engineering
Cody Vanderheyden
Email: CoJoV<at>

Cody is an undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering at CSU. Originally from Wisconsin, he has lived in Colorado since 1998 and considers himself a native. Beginning in August 2015, Cody has worked closely to measure emissions of aerosol mass and composition from vehicular exhaust. Cody has a wide range of professional experience, and has worked previously in water jet machining, plastic injection molding, and manufacturing/production. In his free time, he reads and writes, watches films, and plays the guitar.


BS Student in Mechanical Engineering
Brandon King
Email: Brandon.King<at>

Brandon is an undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering at CSU. His current work in the Laboratory for Air Quality Research is designing and building a UVC ozonator, measuring and analyzing emissions of aerosol mass from various pollution sources and, overall, exploring his career interests, which lie in energy, renewable energy and the environment. Outside of his studies, Brandon’s passions lie in leading an active and healthy lifestyle. He oftentimes finds himself trying to find new ways to make healthy food taste delicious and trying out new outdoor activities to stay fit.


BS Student in Mechanical Engineering
Mikaela Henness-Wilson
Email: Mikaela.Henness-Wilson<at>

Mikaela is an undergraduate in Mechanical Engineering at CSU. She has lived in Colorado for 13 years and is currently working on estimating social costs of pollutants from mobile sources and projecting those estimates to reflect changes in transportation alternatives/policies. Mikaela has been a teaching assistant in the Civil Engineering Department for 2 years. She enjoys reading, knitting, biking and playing video games and hopes to pursue her Masters after graduating.


Previous Members

Abril Galang (1/15-1/17), MS Mechanical Engineering
Abril’s MS thesis involved the use of neural network models to predict fuel economy and emissions from electric and hydraulic hybrid vehicles. Abril was partially supported through a research contract with Lightning Hybrids. During his time at CSU, he also designed and built a portable filter cart for aerosol measurement and supported laboratory studies to measure emissions and photochemical production of organic aerosol from diesel exhaust and wildfires. Abril currently works at Toyota in Ann Arbor, MI.

Sailaja Eluri (9/15-1/17), MS Mechanical Engineering
Sailaja’s MS thesis developed and applied two semi-explicit chemistry and thermodynamic models to predict the formation and composition of secondary organic aerosol from diesel exhaust. She also helped in the interpretation of secondary organic aerosol data measured from diesel exhaust.

Jonathan Boualavong (5/15-7/15), BS Biomedical Engineering (jboualav<at>
Jonathan worked in Dr. Charles Henry’s laboratory in the Chemistry Department on an electrochemical microfluidic sensor. He used the sensor to measure the oxidative load of diesel and biodiesel particulate matter (PM) emissions, a metric that provided a good indication of its toxicity. Jonathan’s time at LAQR was supported through the C2B2 REU program.

Christopher Heppding (8/15-5/16), BS Mechanical Engineering (chris.heppding<at>
Chris designed, fabricated, and tested an selective catalytic reduction (SCR) system for a Tier 3 diesel engine and helped measure isocyanic acid emissions resulting from the SCR chemistry. Chris’s project was partially supported through donations by DCL International.

aqmCollin Babcock, Matt Houghton, Alex Mitchell, Kyle Roberts, Ashlee Sanchez (8/15-5/16),
BS Mechanical Engineering
Collin, Matt, Alex, Kyle and Ashlee designed, developed and constructed a low-cost, low-power, portable and autonomous, ambient air quality monitor that measures carbon dioxide and three other criteria pollutants (carbon monoxide, nitrogen dioxide and ozone). Their air quality monitor can measure near-ambient to elevated concentrations of pollutants, is accurate within 20% (at room temperature and dry air), lasts ~7 days on a single charge and costs about $750.