Dr. Kang Sun is an Assistant Professor of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering, and RENEW Faculty member. As an atmospheric scientist, he is interested in using in-situ observations, satellite remote sensing, and numerical modeling of the Earth's atmosphere to understand air pollution and climate change.
Dr. Sun’s research focuses on the chemistry and physics of the Earth’s atmosphere and their implications for sustainable urban development, public health, and the global climate change. His current research projects involve remote sensing of atmospheric composition, satellite instrument development, and inverse modeling of greenhouse gas emissions. He serves in the science teams of TEMPO, the first Earth Venture Instrument mission to measure air pollution from geostationary orbit, OMI, the primary global air pollution monitor, and OCO-2, NASA’s first dedicated mission to study atmospheric carbon dioxide. He pioneered the use of solar measurements for instrument spectral calibration, and the use of instrument spatial response function to accurately oversample satellite observations into regular grids. He is also involved in the development of a satellite-based solution to quantify global methane leakage from space.
Previous projects include developing open-path, quantum cascade laser-based atmospheric sensors and constraining the emissions of atmospheric ammonia, a precursor to PM2.5 and critical component of the global nitrogen cycle, and nitrous oxide, the third most important anthropogenic greenhouse gas following carbon dioxide and methane. He participated in multiple ground-based and aircraft observation campaigns, including NASA DISCOVER-AQ and CAREBeijing in China.
Dr. Sun holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering from Princeton University and is a scientific partner of the MethaneSAT mission. He has been selected by the 14th Atmospheric Chemistry Colloquium for Emerging Senior Scientists (ACCESS XIV) in 2017.