For Dr. Minghuai Wang, his senior year of undergraduate study at Nanjing University was when he began to think about a career in the atmospheric sciences. “I do not recall any particular moment that led to this path, but I think my choice of my career in science comes from the accumulated course studies and research experiences in the atmospheric sciences during my undergraduate and graduate studies.”
Dr. Wang grew up in a rural area of Anhui province, eastern China. He was the first of either side of his parents’ families to earn a college degree. He attended Nanjing University, one of the most prestigious universities in China. The university has the best atmospheric science program in the nation at the time, and Dr. Wang took full advantage.
The effort paid off, and Dr. Wang came to CLaSP (then called AOSS) to work with Prof. Joyce Penner. “[She] is the main reason why I chose Climate & Space. Joyce is a world-renowned expert in cloud modeling, and a pioneer in studying the climate effects of aerosols.” He continues, “My research area is to understanding the role of aerosols and clouds in the earth system. One of the major tools we use is numerical models. Aerosols and clouds are the major components of our earth system, while our understanding of aerosol and cloud processes are still limited, and their representation in regional and global models are still generally poor, which hinder our ability to project future climate change.”
Dr. Wang says he really enjoyed his time at CLaSP. “U-M treated their graduate students really well, and provided very family-friendly environments. I got married at U-M, and my wife gave birth our first son Andrew there. We still have good memories of our time in the Northwood family house.”
He also says he also benefitted significantly from his time working at CLaSP. “[I received] very solid training from Prof. Joyce Penner’s group. Joyce set a very high bar for graduate students and I had learned a lot during my PhD, including model tools, analysis skills, written and oral presentation, and critical thinking. All of these laid a really solid foundation for my career.”
After graduation, Dr. Wang took a postdoc position at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory, soon moving up to become a research scientist there. In 2014, he accepted a faculty position as a full professor at Nanjing University, where he did his undergraduate work nearly 20 years earlier. He now runs his own group, and credits CLaSP for giving him the solid foundation in aerosol and cloud modeling.
Dr. Wang has very fond recollections of his time at the University of Michigan. He has this final piece of advice for students: “Ann Arbor is a nice place to live and to study. When you graduate, I am sure you will miss it a lot. So, work hard and have fun!”