Helena Pliszka
CU Science Cohort 2021
Environmental engineering

Helena Pliszka is first year Master of Research student in Environmental Engineering, focusing on air quality and also pursuing a Mortenson Center's Certificate in Global Engineering. In 2020, she received her BS in Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin – Madison. At CU Boulder, Helena has joined the air quality research and community outreach efforts of Dr. Michael Hannigan’s group, applying her drive for action-oriented engineering work to low-cost instrumentation. She is the lead on particulate matter sensor integration into the research group’s designed Y-Pod – a low-cost portable air quality monitor that houses a range of gas-phase sensors. Her group is currently employing the Y-Pod in a year-long Air Quality InQuiry (AQIQ) course, co-led by Dr. Hannigan, that facilitates environmental engagement with students in rural Colorado schools and at the National University of Mongolia. In her spare time, Helena strives to apply these low-cost sensing tools and passion for citizen science to her own research of studying the physical transport and associated air quality effects of urban deployed tear gas.