Faculty

Marina VanceMarina Vance, Nina Vance

Assistant Professor,
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Environmental Engineering Program

  • PhD, Civil and Environmental Engineering, Virginia Tech.
  • MS, Environmental Engineering, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina.
  • BS, Sanitation and Environmental Engineering, Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina.

 marina.vance@colorado.edu

I was born and raised in Florianópolis, an island in southern Brazil. I received a bachelor's in Sanitation and Environmental Engineering from the Universidade Federal de Santa Catarina, located in my hometown. Then I spent 3 years working as an environmental engineering consultant, collecting and analyzing samples of odorous industrial emissions from over a dozen industries in southern Brazil (oil refineries, a paper mill, a flavor and aroma manufacurer, among others). I then moved to the United States to pursue a PhD in Civil Engineering at Virginia Tech, where I investigated consumer products that had been enhanced with silver nanoparticles for their antimicrobial properties. As a postdoc and research scientist, I have been the associate director of VTSuN and the deputy director of NanoEarth.

I am now an Assistant Professor of Mechanical Engineering at CU Boulder and I am also part of the faculty body in the Environmental Engineering program at CU. When I am not at work, I enjoy hiking and backpacking in the mountains and traveling to warm places to scuba dive.

Postdoctoral Scholars

Sameer Patel  Sameer Patel

Post-Doctoral Associate,
Department of Mechanical Engineering
Environmental Engineering Program

  • Ph.D., Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis.
  • M.S., Energy, Environmental and Chemical Engineering, Washington University in St. Louis.
  • B.Tech., Chemical Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay.

 s.patel@colorado.edu

My Ph.D. research has focused on fundamental lab studies on pollutant formation and characterization during residential scale solid fuel combustion, longitudinal cross-sectional environmental epidemiological studies in India, and regional scale cost-benefit analysis models to understand fuel preference. 

At Vance Laboratory, I am developing an understanding of formation and evolution of various pollutants, from human activities and consumer products, in indoor environments. I am also keen on examining if our current policies and regulations for protecting human health are up to our fundamental scientific knowledge.

In my spare time, I love cooking and work on my photography skills. I am also an aviation enthusiast.

 

Graduate Students

Sarah Toth Sarah Toth

  • PhD Student, Environmental Engineering, CU Boulder.
  • BS, Environmental Engineering, magna cum laude, University of Florida.

Sarah is working on particulate matter soiling of photovoltaic modules.

Sumit Sankhyan Sumit Sankhyan

  • MS Student, Mechanical Engineering, CU Boulder.
  • BTech, Mechanical Engineering, VIT University, India.

Sumit's research is focused on investigating emissions of black and brown carbon indoors. His hobbies and interests include hiking and reading in addition to exploring bike routes in Boulder.

Julia Bakker-Arkema Julia Bakker Arkema

  • PhD Student, Analytical, Environmental, & Atmospheric Chemistry, CU Boulder (PhD advisor: Paul Ziemann)
  • BA, Chemistry, magna cum laude, Carleton College

Julia studies the chemistry that leads to the formation of secondary organic aerosols in the atmosphere, as well as multiphase chemistry that can take place in the particle-phase.

She is interested in science communication through a variety of media, including writing, videos, and social media, and she’s passionate about increasing the visibility and retention of women in STEM fields.

 

 

Undergraduate Students

Julia Witteman Julia Witteman

  • BS Student, Environmental Engineering, Minor: Economics, CU Boulder

Julia works on the “cooking oil project” in Vance Laboratories, collecting and analyzing data on aerosols emitted by heating different types of cooking oils past their smoke point. Julia enjoys research in indoor air quality because it is something that can make a significant difference in people’s health even though it is rarely talked about.

In her free time, Julia enjoys backpacking, skiing, sailing, painting and caring for her plants (not pictured).

Alan Carrasco Alan Carrasco

  • BS Student, Mechanical Engineering, Colorado Mesa University/University of Colorado Boulder Engineering Partnership Program
  • Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) student, CU Boulder, Summer 2019

Alan conducted experiments in the Vance Lab dealing with the characterization of indoor ultrafine particles produced from 3D printers and cooking oils. He then continued on to work with the Vance Lab on his senior design project, designing an air quality containment and treatment enclosure for 3D printers and other office equipment. His curiosity towards a future in research lead him to experience the work of a researcher which required him to learn about air quality and how to operate state-of-the-art instrumentation. In his free time, Alan loves to attend music concerts and festivals, explore new hiking trails, embark in road trips through different states, and spend time with friends and family.

Kayley Zabinski Kayley Zabinski

  • BS Student, Environmental Engineering, Minor: Geology, CU Boulder
  • Summer Program for Undergraduate Research (SPUR) student, CU Boulder, Summer 2019

Kayley works on collecting and analyzing data on aerosols emitted from heating cooking oil. She has also spent time characterizing the equipment in the new lab in order to ensure accurate data collection.

In her free time, Kayley loves to ski, hike, and go backpacking, especially when she travels to Utah. 

Alumni

Faisal Alamri  Faisal Alamri

  • MS, Mechanical Engineering, CU Boulder, 2018.
  • BS, Mechanical Engineering, King Fahad University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM).

Faisal worked on investigating the interactions of air pollutants with photovoltaic panels, which has implications for the longevity and reliability or solar systems. After graduation, Faisal became a Research Associate at King Abdulaziz City for Science and Technology.

Zachary Linden Zachary Linden

  • MS, Environmental Engineering, CU Boulder, 2018.
  • BS, Civil Engineering, University of North Carolina at Charlotte.

Zack researched aerosol emissions from a home 3D printer. After graduation, Zack became an Environmental Engineer at Arcadis.

Itza Beltran Itza Beltran

  • MS, Mechanical Engineering, CU Boulder, 2018.
  • BS, Mechanical Engineering, University of Central Florida.

After working in our lab 2017 - 2018, Itza became a Mechanical Engineering Intern at Particle Measuring Systems.

 

Gage Van Natta Gage Van Natta

  • Discovery Learn Apprenticeship Student, CU Boulder, 2018 - 2019.
  • BS Student, Engineering Physics. Minor: Applied Mathematics.

Gage worked as an undergraduate researcher in the Vance Lab as a part of the Discovery Learning Apprenticeship (DLA) program. He worked on characterizing some of the instruments and components in the laboratory, such as aethalometers and diffusion driers. He is fascinated with learning about indoor air quality and learning how his experience as an Engineering Physics major can help to study this topic. When he is not in the lab or in class he loves to play competitive video games and hike the beautiful landscapes Colorado has to offer!

After graduation, Gage became an Engineering Intern at Parker Water & Sanitation District.

 

Kwasi Kyeremeh Dapaah Kwasi Dapaar

  • REU Student, CU Boulder, Summer 2017 
  • Mechanical Engineering, Colorado Mesa University/University of Colorado Boulder Engineering Partnership Program

Kwasi worked on evaluating the efficacy of enclosures to prevent people's exposure to ultrafine aerosols generated during the use of 3D pritners.

Kwasi was also involved with our lab in the 2017 - 2018 academic year through a senior design project building a thermodenuder for conditioning aerosols.

After graduation, Kwasi was hired as a materials engineer at Lockheed Martin Space, testing aerospace materials.

Group Photos

July, 2019: (Top, L-R) Sameer Patel, Sumit Sankhyan, Nate Spillman, Julia Witteman, Sarah Toth.
(Bottom, L-R) Suvir Wadhwa, Alan Carrasco, Kayley Zabinski, Marina Vance.

July 2019 Vance group photo

May, 2018: (L-R) Faisal Alamri, Sameer Patel, Sumit Sankhyan, Marina Vance, Zack Linden, Itza Beltran. Not pictured: Sarah Toth.

May 2018 Group Photo