Carnegie Mellon University
March 11, 2020

Ryan Sullivan Wins Carnegie Science Award

By Ben Panko

Ryan Sullivan, associate professor of chemistry and mechanical engineering, has won a Carnegie Science Award in the environmental category from the Carnegie Science Center.

“The Carnegie Science Awards provide an opportunity to celebrate the astonishingly creative and forward-thinking minds in Pittsburgh’s science, technology and education communities,” said Jason Brown, the Henry Buhl, Jr. Director of the Carnegie Science Center. “Through their incredible contributions to their fields, they’re directly impacting the health, growth and economic vitality of our region as a whole.”

Sullivan, who also serves as associate director of Carnegie Mellon University's Institute for Green Science, is a leading researcher in atmospheric chemistry. As the first scientist in North America to make use of optical tweezer technology to study aerosol particles suspended in air, Sullivan has pioneered research into how these particles travel and evolve in the atmosphere, and how they affect the formation of clouds that have significant impacts on Earth's climate.

"Sullivan's novel experiments and theory on cloud freezing are slashing the largest uncertainty in climate science," said Neil Donahue, Thomas Lord University Professor in Chemistry, in nominating Sullivan for the award.

The Carnegie Science Awards were established in 1997 to recognize and promote outstanding science and technology achievements in western Pennsylvania. More than 550 organizations and individuals have been recognized by the awards in the fields of science, technology and education for their impact on the region’s industrial, academic and environmental vitality.

Carnegie Mellon’s Carmel Majidi, an associate professor of mechanical engineering, also won a Carnegie Science Award in the advanced manufacturing and materials category.

The awards will be presented at a banquet on May 8 at the Carnegie Science Center.