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Yusuf Hamied Department of Chemistry


I am a PhD student in atmospheric chemistry, supervised by Alex Archibald and Markus Kalberer, as part of the Cambridge Earth System Science NERC DTP (started in October 2015).

I am hoping to explore ways of identifying where the principal sources of uncertainty in our understanding of secondary organic aerosol (SOA) formation lie. It is important to improve our understanding of aerosol, as it is known to have detrimental health effects, but also represents a major uncertainty in predicting the magnitude of global warming over the coming decades. The SOA particles form as a result of the oxidation of organic species, such as alpha-pinene (a monoterpene emitted by plants), in the atmosphere. The reaction-by-reaction chemistry of this process is very complex. Additionally, it varies based on which of the many possible precursors we are considering (for example beta-pinene, an isomer of alpha-pinene with its double bond in a different place, shows different reactivity), as well as the oxidation conditions (which depend on day time and location). Further complexity is introduced when we consider the physical processes involved in the condensation of the oxidised gaseous species. I use machine learning algorithms to try to predict the rate of the chemical steps in the hope of improving our models.


Since 2015, I have been supervising students following the first year chemistry course (Part IA Natural Sciences) which covers the basics of a wide range of university-level chemistry every year. I have also previously been demonstrating in labs for the same course, as well as the Part II Theoretical Chemistry practicals. Over the last few years, I have also supervised Part II A6 (a catch-up course covering quantum chemistry and symmetry concepts) and Part II B4 (Chemistry in the atmosphere, covering the basics of both stratospheric and tropospheric chemistry).

I am an associate fellow of the higher education academy (AFHEA).

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01223 748902

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