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CAEE Grads Embark on New Postdoctoral Positions, Advancing Energy and Air Quality Research in the Built Environment

Two recent graduates of Armour College of Engineering’s Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering program have accepted highly competitive postdoctoral training positions, further developing their research and professional skills.

Parham Azimi (Ph.D. ENVE ’16)

Parham Azimi (Ph.D. ENVE ’16) joined the Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health as a postdoctoral research associate in April 2019. His research focuses on the fate, transport, and control of indoor aerosols of indoor and ambient origin, chronic health impacts of fine particles in various microenvironments, and energy performance of residential and commercial buildings. 

While at Illinois Tech, Azimi worked under the supervision of Brent Stephens, associate professor of architectural engineering, director of architectural and environmental engineering, and chair of the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering, in the department’s Built Environment Research Group.

Azimi collaborated on numerous projects in different areas of indoor environmental engineering and environmental health research, including testing the emissions of desktop 3D printers; evaluating the impacts of residential ventilation systems on indoor air quality, asthma outcomes, and energy use; modeling of influenza transmission; and many others. 

“All of this [experience] not only prepared me for my current position but also caused me to be a better person in life,” says Azimi. 

He adds, “CAEE supported me with the Dean’s Flexible Scholarship in the first semester, which encouraged me to be academically strong. I truly believe the department did an amazing job in hiring the best faculty members nationwide; providing necessary research facilities; building a friendly atmosphere between the students, professors, and staff; and supporting students during hard times.” 

Azimi earned his bachelor’s degree in civil engineering and master’s degree in environmental engineering from Sharif University of Technology in Tehran, Iran. 

Haoran Zhao (Ph.D. ENVE ’19)

Haoran Zhao (Ph.D. ENVE ’19) joined the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in July 2019 as a postdoctoral researcher in the Whole Building Systems Department within the Building Technology and Urban Systems Division. His research focuses on improving knowledge of the fate and transport of outdoor pollutants intindoor environments and their interactions with building characteristics and energy consumption. 

While at Illinois Tech, Zhao also worked under the supervision of Stephens, primarily focusing on developing and testing methods to measure the fate and transport of outdoor pollutants into indoor environments, in addition to exploring their association with building characteristics. 

“My experience at Illinois Tech exceptionally prepared me for a smooth transition from student to professional researcher by providing me with the skills necessary to succeed. My most memorable experience was working with Dr. Stephens in the Built Environmental Research Group, where I participated on a variety of research activities in the area of air pollution and building science, including both lab experiments and field tests,” says Zhao.

Zhao earned his bachelor’s degree in agriculture science and engineering from China Agricultural University in Beijing. His current work at LBNL will continue to advance knowledge on the intersections of indoor air quality and building science.