Joe Woo smiles Research area: My research looks at atmospheric aerosols, which are little particles in the atmosphere that can either grow to become clouds or they can absorb light. So smoke, haze, fog—any sort of thing that is like a solid or liquid floating around in the atmosphere. Specifically, I look at water-based aerosols that are in the air and can react with other organic compounds that are emitted through various sources. Atmospheric aerosols contribute to public health and the warming of the atmosphere.

My Lafayette journey: When I was studying engineering in graduate school, I found that I really loved to teach, but I was often told that if I wanted to be a professor, teaching would have to take a backseat to performing research. Lafayette offered me an opportunity where my desire to create an engaging and immersive learning experience for my students would not only be recognized, but respected and cultivated.

While working here, I’ve found a community of truly invested educators—like-minded individuals who want to mentor the next generation of scientists and engineers who will be thoughtful scholars and well-rounded people. I’ve found teaching first-year classes particularly rewarding, and the College has really gone above and beyond in its support of my FYS 143 Coffee, which has allowed me to make engineering and chemistry topics less daunting to non-STEM majors and drive discussion of social and humanistic design elements to engineers. 

What I will be teaching this fall:I’ll be teaching my FYS for the fourth time this upcoming semester, along with a senior-level chemical engineering lab course.

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