Faculty Directory

Asa-Awuku, Akua

Asa-Awuku, Akua

Associate Dean for Diversity and Equity
Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering
Civil and Environmental Engineering
Robert E. Fischell Institute for Biomedical Devices
4418 Stadium Drive Chemical and Nuclear Engineering Building (090)


Ph.D., Georgia Institute of Technology, Chemical Egineering, 2008


  • Water uptake of particles; characterizing thermodynamic properties governing droplet formation for air quality, health and climate impacts
  • Novel characterization of relevant primary and secondary organic aerosol; black carbon; chemical composition and effects on the health and the hydrological cycle
  • Experimental investigation of the formation of cloud droplets: the activation of organic Cloud Condensation Nuclei (CCN) and its subsequent effects on climate


  • 2012 NSF CAREER
  • 2011 EPA Science to Achieve Results (STAR)
  • 2009 NSF-Georgia Tech FACES Career Initiation Grant Recipient 
  • 2009 Atmospheric Chemistry Colloquium for Emerging Senior Scientists (ACCESS X)
  • 2008 NSF-Georgia Tech FACES Postdoctoral Fellowship
  • 2008 Camille and Henry Dreyfus Post Doctoral Scholar
  • 2005-7 NASA ESS (Earth Sun-System) Fellow, Georgia Institute of Technology


  • American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR)
  • American Chemical Society (ACS)
  • American Geophysical Union (AGU)
  • American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE)
  • Air & Water Management Association (A&WMA)
  • American Meteorological Society (AMS)
  • Alpha Chi Sigma (AXE)
  • Association of Environmental Engineering and Science Professors (AEESP)
  • European Geophysical Union (EGU)



Investigating the formation, composition, and measurement of anthropogenic and biogenic aerosol to explore the impacts on climate and health.


  • Jiacheng Yang; Patrick Roth, Thomas D Durbin, Martin M Shafer, Jocelyn Hemming, Dagmara Antkiewicz, Akua Asa-Awuku, Georgios Karavalakis. “Emissions from a Flex Fuel GDI Vehicle Operating on Ethanol Fuels Show Marked Contrasts in Chemical, Physical and Toxicological Characteristics as a Function of Ethanol Content”. Science of the Total Environment, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.05.279
  • Vu, Diep, Patrick Roth, Tyler Berte, Jiacheng Yang,David R. Cocker, Thomas D. Durbin, Georgios Karavalakis, and Akua Asa-Awuku. “Using a new Mobile Atmospheric Chamber (MACh) to investigate the formation of secondary aerosols from mobile sources: The case of gasoline direct injection vehicles.”Journal of Aerosol Science (2019). 133, 1-11. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jaerosci.2019.03.009
  • Roth, Patrick, Jiacheng Yang, Emmanuel Fofie, David R. Cocker, Thomas D. Durbin, Rasto Brezny, Michael Geller, Akua Asa-Awuku, and Georgios Karavalakis. “Catalyzed Gasoline Particulate Filters Reduce Secondary Organic Aerosol Production from Gasoline Direct Injection Vehicles.” Environmental science & technology (2019). https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.est.8b06418
  • Yang, J. , Roth, P., Ruehl, CR. Shafer, MM., Antkiewicz, DS., Durbin, T.D., Cocker, D.R., Asa-Awuku, A. and G. Karavalakis. “Physical, chemical, and toxicological characteristics of particulate emissions from current technology gasoline direct injection vehicles.” Science of the Total Environment. 650 (2019): 1182-1194. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2018.09.110
  • Yang, Jiacheng, Patrick Roth, Thomas D. Durbin, Kent C. Johnson, Akua Asa-Awuku, David R. Cocker III, and Georgios Karavalakis. “Investigation of the Effect of Mid-And High-Level Ethanol Blends on the Particulate and the Mobile Source Air Toxic Emissions from a Gasoline Direct Injection Flex Fuel Vehicle.” Energy & Fuels 33, no. 1 (2019): 429-440. doi:10.1021/acs.energyfuels.8b02206  https://pubs.acs.org/doi/abs/10.1021/acs.energyfuels.8b02206
  • Lin, Y., Bahreini, R.,  Zimmerman, S.,  Fofie, E. A., Asa-Awuku,  A.,  Park, K.,  Lee, S-B.,  Bae, G-N.  and H. S. Jung. “Investigation of ambient aerosol effective density with and without using a catalytic stripper.” Atmospheric Environment (2018). 187, 84-92  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2018.05.063
    Jiang, J., Yang, J., Gagné, S., Chan, T. W., Thomson, K., Fofie, E., Cary, R. A.,Dan Rutherford, D., Bryan Comer,B., Jacob Swanson, J., Lin, Y. Van Rooy, P, Asa-Awuku, A. ,Jung, H.,
  • Barsanti, K., Karavalakis. G, David Cocker, D., Durbin, T. D., Miller, J. W., K. C. Johnson. Sources of variance in BC mass measurements from a small marine engine: Influence of the instruments, fuels and loads. Atmospheric Environment. 182 (2018): 128-137.  https://doi.org/10.1016/j.atmosenv.2018.03.008
  • Yang, J., Roth, P., Durbin, T.D., Johnson, K.C., Cocker, D.R., Asa-Awuku, A., Brezny, R., Geller, M. and Karavalakis, G., 2018. Gasoline Particulate Filters as an Effective Tool to Reduce Particulate and PAH Emissions from GDI Vehicles: A Case Study with Two GDI Vehicles. Environmental science & technology. (2018). 52 (5), pp 3275–3284. 10.1021/acs.est.7b05641 https://pubs.acs.org/doi/full/10.1021/acs.est.7b05641
  • Fofie, E. A., Donahue, N. M., & Asa-Awuku, A. (2018). Cloud condensation nuclei activity and droplet formation of primary and secondary organic aerosol mixtures. Aerosol Science and Technology, 52(2), 242-251. https://doi.org/10.1080/02786826.2017.1392480
  • Vizenor, A., & Asa-Awuku, A. Gas-phase kinetics modifies the CCN activity of biogenic SOA. Physical Chemistry Chemical Physics. no. 9 (2018), 6591-6597.
  • Fofie, E., V. Castelluccio, and A. Asa-Awuku. “Exploring CCN Droplet Suppression with a Higher Sensitivity Optical Particle Counter.” Aerosol Science and Technology (2018): 52, no.1, 78-86. http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02786826.2017.1379592.
  • Piqueras, P., Li, F., Castelluccio, V., Matsumoto, M., & *Asa-Awuku, A. (2016). Real-Time Ultrafine Aerosol Measurements from Wastewater Treatment Facilities. Environmental Science & Technology, 50(20), 11137-11144.
  • Short, D., Vu, D., Chen, V., Espinoza, C., Berte, T., Karavalakis, G., Durbin, TD and *Asa-Awuku, A. (2017). Understanding particles emitted from spray and wall-guided gasoline direct injection and flex fuel vehicles operating on ethanol and iso-butanol gasoline blends. Aerosol Science and Technology, 51(3), 330-341.
  • Vu, D., Short, D. Z., Karavalakis, G., Durbin, T. D., & &Asa-Awuku, A. (2017). Will Aerosol Hygroscopicity Change with Biodiesel, Renewable Diesel Fuels and Emission Control Technologies? Environmental Science & Technology.
  • Clark, C. H., Kacarab, M., Nakao, S., Asa-Awuku, A., Sato, K., & Cocker, D. R.(2016). Temperature effects on secondary organic aerosol (SOA) from the dark ozonolysis and photo-oxidation of isoprene. Environmental science & technology.
  • Giordano, M. R., Chong, J., Weise, D. R., & Asa-Awuku, A. A. (2016). Does chronic nitrogen deposition during biomass growth affect atmospheric emissions from biomass burning?. Environmental Research Letters, 11(3), 034007.
  • Asa-Awuku, A., Sorooshian, A., Flagan, R.C., Seinfeld, J.H., Nenes, A. CCN Properties of Organic Aerosol Collected Below and within Marine Stratocumulus Clouds near Monterey, California. Atmospheres (2015)  6 (11), 1590-1607
  • Vu, D., D. Short, G. Karavalakis; T. Durbin; and A. Asa-Awuku. Integrating Cloud Condensation Nuclei Predictions with Fast Time Resolved Aerosol Instrumentation to Determine the Hygroscopic Properties of Emissions over Transient Drive Cycles Aerosol Science and Technology. (2015)  49 (11), 1149-1159  
  • Short, D., Vu, D., Durbin, T.,  Karavalakis, G., Asa-Awuku, A. "Components of Particle Emissions from Light-Duty Spark-Ignition Vehicles with Varying Aromatic Content and Octane Rating in Gasoline." Environmental Science & Technology (2015). 49 (17), pp 10682–10691
  • Xue, J., Li, Y., Wang, X., Durbin, T., Johnson, K.C., Karavalakis, G., Asa-Awuku, A., Villela, M., Quiros, D., Hu, S., Huai, T., Ayala, A.,Jung, H. Comparison of vehicle exhaust particle size distributions by SMPS and EEPS during steady state operating conditions. Aerosol Science and Technology (2015.)
  • Karavalakis, Georgios, Daniel Short, Diep Vu, Robert L. Russell, Akua Asa-Awuku, Heejung Jung, Kent C. Johnson, and Thomas D. Durbin. "The impact of ethanol and iso-butanol blends on gaseous and particulate emissions from two passenger cars equipped with spray-guided and wall-guided direct injection SI (spark ignition) engines." Energy 82 (2015): 168-179.
  • Karavalakis, Georgios, Daniel Z. Short, Diep Vu, Robert L. Russell, Maryam Hajbabaei, Akua Asa-Awuku, and Thomas D. Durbin. "Evaluating the Effects of Aromatics Content in Gasoline on Gaseous and Particulate Matter Emissions from SI-PFI and SI-DI Vehicles." Environmental science & technology, 49, 7021-7031 (2015).
  • Short, D., Vu, D., Durbin, T., Karavalakis, G., Asa-Awuku, A. Particle Speciation of Emissions from Iso-Butanol and Ethanol Blended Gasoline in Light-Duty Spark-Ignition Vehicles. Journal of Aerosol Science. (2015): 39-52.
  • Karavalakis, G., Short, D., Russell, R., Jung, H., Johnson, K.C., Asa-Awuku, A., Durbin, T. Assessing the Impacts of Ethanol and Iso-Butanol Impacts on Gaseous and Particulate Emissions from Flexible Fuel Vehicles. Environmental Science and Technology.   48, 14016-14024, 2014
  • Short, D., Giordano, M., Zhu, Y., Fine, P., Polidori, A., Asa-Awuku, A. A Unique On-line Method to Infer Water-Insoluble Particle Contributions. Aerosol Science and Technology. Vol. 48: 7 p.706-714. 9p. 2014
  • Tan, C.L., Gao, S., Wee, S., Asa-Awuku, A., B, T.R. Adhesion of Dust Particles to Common Indoor Surfaces in Air-Conditioned Environment. Aerosol Science and Technology. Vol. 48: 5 p.541-551. , 2014  
  • Tang, X., Price, D., Praske, E.J., Vu, D., Purvis-Roberts, K., Silva, P., Cocker III, D.R., Asa-Awuku, A. CCN Activity of Two Aliphatic Amine Secondary Aerosol. Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. Vol. 14: p.5959-5967. , 2014
  • Karavalakis, G., Short, D., Vu, D., Villela, M., Asa-Awuku, A., Durbin, T. Evaluating the regulated emissions, air toxics, ultrafine particles, and black carbon from SI-PFI and SI-DI vehicles operating on different ethanol and iso-butanol blends. Fuel. Vol. 128: p.410-421. 2014
  • Giordano, M., Asa-Awuku, A. Rebuttal to Correspondence on “Changes in Droplet Surface Tension Affect the Observed Hygroscopicity of Photochemically Aged Biomass Burning Aerosol”. Environmental Science and Technology. Vol. 48: 3 p.2084-2085, 2014.
  • Kreidenweis, S., Asa-Awuku, A.   Aerosol Hygroscopicity: Particle Water Content and Its Role in Atmospheric Processes. Treatise on Geochemistry 2nd Edition. Editors: H. D. Holland, K.K. Turekian. Elseiver. Oxford. Vol. 5: p.331-361, 2014
  • Clark, C. H. , S. Nakao, A. Asa-Awuku, K. Sato, and *D. R. Cocker. Real-time study of particle-phase products from α-pinene ozonolysis and isoprene photo-oxidation using particle into liquid sampling directly coupled to a time of flight mass spectrometer (PILS-ToF), Aerosol Sci. & Tech., p.1374-1382. 2013
  • Giordano, M. R., D. Z. Short, E. Hosseini, W. Lichtenberg, and  A. Asa-Awuku. Changes in Droplet Surface Tension Affect the Observed Hygroscopicity of Photochemically Aged Biomass Burning Aerosol. Env. Sci. & Tech. doi:10.1021/es401867j, 2013
  • Tang, X., D. Price, E. Praske, S. A. Lee, M. A. Shattuck, K. Purvis-Roberts, P. Silva, A. Asa-Awuku, and D. R. Cocker III. NO3 radical, OH radical and O3- initiated secondary aerosol formation from aliphatic amines- salt formation and the effect of water vapor. Atmos. Environ. 72, 105–112, 2013
  • S. Nakao, P. Tang, X.Tang, C. H. Clark, L. Qi, A. Asa-Awuku, D. R. Cocker III. Density and elemental ratios of secondary organic aerosol: application of a density prediction method. Atmos. Environment, 68,  273 -277, 2013
  • Tang, X., Cocker III, D. R., and *Asa-Awuku, A.: Are sesquiterpenes a good source of secondary organic cloud condensation nuclei (CCN)? Revisiting β-caryophyllene CCN, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 12, 8377-8388, doi:10.5194/acp-12-8377-2012, 2012  
  • M. Y. Khan, M. Giordano , J. Gutierrez, W. A. Welch, A. Asa-Awuku, J. W. Miller, *D. R. Cocker III, Benefits of Two Mitigation Strategies for Container Vessels: Cleaner Engines and Cleaner Fuels, Environmental Science and Technology. Environ. Sci. Technol., 2012, 46 (9), pp 5049–5056 DOI: 10.1021/es2043646
  •  X. Tang, Z. Zheng, H S. Jung, *A. Asa-Awuku. The Effects of Mainstream and Sidestream Environmental Tobacco Smoke Composition for Enhanced Condensational Droplet Growth by Water Vapor. Aerosol Science and Technology, Vol. 46, Iss. 7, 2012
  • A. Asa-Awuku, R. Moore, A. Nenes, R. Bahreini, C. A. Brock, A. Middlebrook, J. Holloway , T. Ryerson, J. Jimenez, P. DeCarlo , A. Hecobian, R. Weber , D. Tanner , R. Stickel and L. G. Huey ''Airborne Cloud Condensation Nuclei Measurements during the 2006 Texas Air Quality Study'' J. Geophys. Res., 116, D11201, doi:10.1029/2010JD014874, 2011
  • Z. Zheng, X. Tang, A. Asa-Awuku, H. Jung, Characterization of a Method for Aerosol Generation from Heavy Fuel Oil (HFO) as an Alternative to Emissions from Ship Diesel Engines, Journal of Aerosol Science, 41(12), 1143-1151, 2010
  • Asa-Awuku, A., *Nenes, A., Gao, S., Flagan, R. C., and Seinfeld, J. H.: Water-soluble SOA from Alkene ozonolysis: composition and droplet activation kinetics inferences from analysis of CCN activity, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 1585-1597, 2010.
  • Asa-Awuku, A., M. A. Miracolo, J. H. Kroll, A. L. Robinson, and N. M. Donahue,  Mixing and phase partitioning of primary and secondary organic aerosols, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L15827, doi:10.1029/2009GL039301, 2009
  • Asa-Awuku, A., G.J. Engelhart., B.H. Lee, S.N. Pandis and  *A. Nenes, Relating CCN activity, volatility, and droplet growth kinetics of β-caryophyllene secondary organic, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 9, 795-812, 2009
  • Asa-Awuku, A., A. P. Sullivan,  C.J. Hennigan, R. J. Weber and *A. Nenes, Investigation of Molar Volume and Surfactant Characteristics of water-soluble Organic Compounds in Biomass Burning Aerosol, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 8, 799-812, 2008
  • Engelhart G.J., A. Asa-Awuku, A. Nenes and *S. N. Pandis,  CCN activity and droplet growth kinetics of fresh and aged monoterpene secondary organic aerosol , Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 8, 3937-3949, 2008
  • Padró, L.T., A. Asa-Awuku, R. Morisson,  and *A. Nenes, Inferring Thermodynamic Properties from CCN Activation Experiments a) Single-component and Binary Aerosols, Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics, 7, ,3805-3836, 2007
  • Asa-Awuku, A., and *A. Nenes (2007), Effect of solute dissolution kinetics on cloud droplet formation: Extended Koehler theory, Journal of Geophysical. Research, 112, D22201, 2007  doi:10.1029/2005JD006934

Waters Awarded DOE Fellowship

A UMD doctoral student will receive generous support for her research on disaster resilience and equity.

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