Prof. McNeill held an “Ask me Anything” question and answer session on Reddit on March 10, 2014. Lots of great topics came up including work-life balance, staying inspired in engineering studies, “natural” surfactants, sippy cup science, and more. The discussion even made it to the “front page” of reddit for a few hours! In case you missed it, you can still see the discussion here: http://redd.it/201xvt.
Hi, my name is Samar Moussa . I am an atmospheric chemist.
|The Fun Stuff
Favorite Movie: The God Father II
Favorite TV Show: The Daily Show
Favorite Book: The Alchemist
Favorite Cuisine: Lebanese
If she wasn’t a chemist, she would be a…: A TV anchor
Least Known Trait: A cockroach lived for 24 hours in her ear!
The More Serious Stuff
How did you get interested in atmospheric science?
I got interested in atmospheric sciences during my master’s degree where I was involved in a field campaign to measure atmospheric pollutants.
What is the best part of doing research in a Chem-E/Atmospheric Science lab?
The best part of doing research in a Chem-E/Atmospheric Science lab is the interaction with all the scientists and knowing that your research can make a difference on a bigger scale…[This type of research] is interesting, and there is still a large amount of uncertainty in this area. Any findings will be very important and will better give insight to understanding causes for climate change.
What research are you currently working on?
The goal of my research is to understand trace gas- ice interactions that happen in the polar region. Understanding the chemistry behind what is happening in that region is very important and can give additional insights into ice core records.
What instruments/machines do you use for your research?
Ellipsometry and Chemical Ionization Mass Spectrometry (CIMS)
What is one piece of advice you’d give to an aspiring chemical engineer or scientist?
My advice to aspiring chemical engineers or scientists is to be positive, passionate, and always trying to make a difference in what they are pursuing.
How do you plan to apply your degree in a future career?
My plan is to become a professor and train young scientists to make a difference in this world.