University of Houston Cullen College of Engineering


Shankar Chellam's Saharan Dust Research Highlighted by Houston Chronicle


Melanie Ziems

Anyone with respiratory sensitivities like asthma or allergies knows Houston’s air quality can be a problem. Shankar Chellam, professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Houston’s Cullen College of Engineering, is working to determine how much of our air quality woes may actually be thanks to foreign invaders from halfway around the world.

Dust from the Sahara Desert in northern Africa has been found to makes two to three trips a year across the Atlantic ocean, clinging to warm trade winds and making its way through the Caribbean islands and the Gulf Coast states before it coats the Houston area. It remains a mystery, though, just how much the dust is polluting Houston air.

The Houston Chronicle recently interviewed Chellam about the Saharan dust mystery in the story titled “African dust eyed as local air-quality culprit.” Read the full story here.


Related News Stories

Chemicals Giant INEOS To Visit With UH Engineering Students

At the University of Houston, the Tau Beta Pi -Texas Epsilon Chapter (TX-E) was established in 1962.

The UH chapter of Tau Beta Pi – Texas Epsilon (TBP) is hosting an information session with representatives of INEOS, the fourth largest global chemicals company, on Wednesday, February 27, in the Science and Research Building 1 on campus. The presenters will be Bob Sokol, chief financial officer of INEOS Oligomers and Oxide, and Fred Rulander, chief operating officer of INEOS Oxide North America.

Cullen College Alumna Scores Prestigious Chinese Government Award

Chong Dai (Ph.D. '18) won a 2019 Chinese Government Award for Self-financed Students Abroad.

Chong Dai, who earned a Ph.D. in environmental engineering from the UH Cullen College of Engineering, was awarded a 2019 Chinese Government Award for Self-financed Students Abroad.

Given by the China Scholarship Council, this competitive award is presented to only 500 students worldwide each year. She will receive a $6,000 cash prize and a certificate.