Randall Martin, an internationally renowned atmospheric and aerosols scientist in the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis, has been awarded the Atmospheric Sciences Ascent Award from the American Geophysical Union (AGU).

The award, given annually to four or five mid-career scientists, recognizes excellence in research and leadership in the atmospheric and climate sciences from honorees between eight and 20 years of earning a PhD. The award is presented during the AGU Fall Meeting. Martin, the Raymond Tucker Distinguished Professor in the Department of Energy, Environmental & Chemical Engineering, also will be recognized in the Eos journal, published by the AGU.

Martin's research focuses on characterizing atmospheric composition to inform effective policies surrounding major environmental and public health challenges ranging from air quality to climate change. He leads a research group at the interface of satellite remote sensing and global modeling, with applications that include population exposure for health studies, top-down constraints on emissions and analysis of processes that affect atmospheric composition.

He serves as co-model scientist for a leading global atmospheric model (GEOS-Chem), leads a global fine particulate matter network (SPARTAN) to evaluate and enhance satellite-based estimates of fine particulate matter, and is a member of multiple science teams for satellite instruments including MAIA, TEMPO and GEMS. Data from his group are relied upon for a large number of assessments including the Organization for Economic Co-operation & Development (OECD) Regional Well-Being Index, for World Health Organization estimates of global mortality due to fine particulate matter, for the Global Burden of Disease Project to examine the risk factors affecting global public health, and for a wide range of health studies.

Martin serves on a variety of task forces, advisory boards and working groups as an expert on air quality. His professional honors include being named a Highly Cited Researcher by Web of Science in 2019, receiving a Steacie Memorial Fellowship and being selected to the Royal Society of Canada. He earned a master’s and doctorate in engineering sciences at Harvard University; a master’s in environmental change and management at Oxford University; and a bachelor’s in electrical engineering at Cornell University.


The McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis promotes independent inquiry and education with an emphasis on scientific excellence, innovation and collaboration without boundaries. McKelvey Engineering has top-ranked research and graduate programs across departments, particularly in biomedical engineering, environmental engineering and computing, and has one of the most selective undergraduate programs in the country. With 140 full-time faculty, 1,387 undergraduate students, 1,448 graduate students and 21,000 living alumni, we are working to solve some of society’s greatest challenges; to prepare students to become leaders and innovate throughout their careers; and to be a catalyst of economic development for the St. Louis region and beyond.

Click on the topics below for more stories in those areas