Ryan Sullivan is an associate professor in the Departments of Chemistry and Mechanical Engineering at Carnegie Mellon University. He is also a faculty member in the Centre for Atmospheric Particle Studies. Sullivan has a background in atmospheric and analytical chemistry, single-particle analysis, heterogeneous kinetics, and cloud nucleation research. His research interests include the development of improved aircraft-deployable analytical instrumentation to characterize individual particles in the atmosphere in real-time. These instruments are used to investigate the physicochemical properties of atmospheric particles emitted and produced from a variety of sources, the chemical processes they experience during atmospheric transport, and how these processes modify the ability of particles to nucleate both cloud droplets and ice crystals, thus altering cloud properties and the Earth’s climate. These research endeavors involve equal parts instrument development, laboratory experiments, and field measurements.
Studying Atmospheric Particles Using Aerosol Optical Tweezers
Understanding Climate Change Through Clouds
2008 Ph.D., Chemistry, University of California, San Diego
2006 MS, Chemistry, University of California, San Diego
2002 BS, Chemistry, University of Toronto
- aerosol-cloud interactions
- air quality
- atmospheric particle studies
- environmental engineering
- environmental systems
- heterogeneous chemistry
- instruments & instrumentation
- mass spectrometry
- mechanical engineering
- microfluidic systems
- optical tweezers
- phase transitions
- water treatment
Wildfires produce minerals that freeze clouds
Why do some biomass fuels create ice nucleating particles when they combust while others do not? Researchers at the Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies make an unexpected discovery.
Shared Air Podcast
Jen and Sullivan quoted on coronavirus
ChemE’s Coty Jen and MechE’s Ryan Sullivan appeared on MechE’s Albert Presto’s podcast, Shared Air, on the role of masks in the coronavirus pandemic.
Engineering ways to keep doctors safe from COVID-19
When Allegheny Health Network and Magee Plastics needed help perfecting their simple intubation boxes, they turned to Carnegie Mellon engineers Ryan Sullivan and Coty Jen.
Royal Society of Chemistry
Sullivan paper named among RSC Best of 2019
MechE’s Ryan Sullivan and collaborators at the University of Washington had a research paper named among the Best Papers 2019 - Environmental Science: Processes & Impacts by the Royal Society of Chemistry.
Engineering faculty win Carnegie Science Awards
MechE’s Carmel Majidi and Ryan Sullivan have won Carnegie Science Awards from the Carnegie Science Center for their incredible contributions to science.
Evolution in the air
Two new studies show how aerosol optical tweezing can allow scientists to scrutinize the components of the atmosphere with new precision.
Sullivan on the FutureTech Health podcast
MechE’s Ryan Sullivan spoke on the FutureTech Health podcast, and discussed his focus in atmospheric chemistry to understand chemical reactions and transformations with pollutants and natural particles in the air.
Changing the tune of magnetic materials
Professor Michael McHenry is part of a team of researchers receiving the Carnegie Science Award for Advanced Manufacturing and Materials.
Sullivan uses Nobel Prize winning technology to study airborne particles
Ryan Sullivan uses the Nobel Prize winning technology of optical tweezers to study airborne particles.
Royal Society of Chemistry
Sullivan named Emerging Investigator by Royal Society of Chemistry
MechE’s Ryan Sullivan was named an Emerging Investigator by the Royal Society of Chemistry, and the Society published an interview with him in which he discusses his research.
The freezing behavior of particle mixtures
Does bacteria on dust particles change the overall ice nucleation properties of the particles? Ryan Sullivan investigates.
Gordon Research Conferences
Faculty participate at Atmospheric Chemistry Gordon Research Conference
MechE’s Ryan Sullivan was invited to speak at the Atmospheric Chemistry Gordon Research Conference in Newry, Maine. ChemE/EPP’s Neil Donahue served as co-vice chair of the conference.