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Sarah S. Petters receives award

Last week, the International Commission on Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Pollution (iCACGP) awarded Postdoc Sarah S. Petters the Paul J. Crutzen Award for Early Career Scientists 2022.

Sarah S. Petters the award on stage.
Sarah S. Petters receives the award. Photo: Merete Bilde

Sarah receives the award for her contribution to a better understanding of atmospheric aerosol particles. These particles are airborne – meaning they float around in the atmosphere – and originate from natural and man-made sources.

Specifically, Sarah studies the chemical and physical properties of aerosols, in particular their phase states and their interaction with water. Her work currently focuses on the sources and properties of aerosols containing nano- and microplastic – a new field with many unanswered questions. We need to learn more about how aerosols and nano- and microplastics interact with each other as it affects health and climate.

The iCACGP explains its reasons for granting Sarah the award as follows:

“Throughout her career, Dr Sarah S. Petters has shown creativity, determination, coupled to an impressive skill set, and the ability to take projects to a successful conclusion. These qualities have enabled her to develop excellent ideas for novel approaches to contemporary problems of scientific significance. She has contributed to establishing the range and complexity of Cloud Condensation Nucleus (CCN) activity of atmospheric organic aerosols. Most recently, she has combined thermodynamics from aerosol cloud microphysics with organic physical chemistry and proposed how interfacially-induced pressure in aerosol particles influence aerosol reactions, phase state, and viscosity.”

Sarah Suda Petters received her PhD in atmospheric sciences from North Carolina State University in 2015. After that, she held two postdoctoral positions at Colorado State University and the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill. Since last year, she has worked as a postdoc in Professor Merete Bilde's research group at the Department of Chemistry, Aarhus University, working on the Green Transition project ‘Plastic in the Air’, funded by Independent Research Fund Denmark.

Congratulations to Sarah S. Petters.


The Paul J. Crutzen Award for Early Career Scientists is awarded to a researcher in his/her early career by the International Commission on Atmospheric Chemistry and Global Pollution (iCACGP). The nominated researchers are evaluated on their scientific excellence, productivity, breath of scientific contribution, and scientific publications and their impact. Candidates for the award are nominated by other scientists - in Sarah S. Petters's case, it was Professor Merete Bilde from the Department of Chemistry, Aarhus University that nominated her.

The award is named after Paul J. Crutzen, who in 1995 received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry together with Mario J. Molina and F. Sherwood Rowland for their research in atmospheric chemistry, particularly concerning the formation and decomposition of ozone.