Beeler, McKelvey Engineering alumna, receives prestigious Department of Energy fellowship

Payton Beeler is second alum to receive the Linus Pauling Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship

Beth Miller 

Payton Beeler, who earned a doctorate in environmental engineering from the McKelvey School of Engineering at Washington University in St. Louis in 2023, was named a Linus Pauling Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellowship from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

The postdoctoral fellowship is at the Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL) in Richland, Washington. Beeler is a member of the Atmospheric, Climate and Earth Sciences Division, where her primary research is focused on improving the representation of biomass burning aerosols in Earth system models.

The Pauling Fellowship provides full funding to recent doctoral graduates for a major research project of their choice as well as mentoring from scientists and resources to implement a research program. During her fellowship, Beeler plans to improve the understanding of the effects of sub-grid scale aerosol composition and mixing state on grid-scale properties within the Earth system model. 

This is Beeler’s second research opportunity with the DOE. In 2022, she participated in the agency’s Office of Science Graduate Student Research (SCGSR) program, which provides a research opportunity for doctoral students. She spent six months at PNNL doing some of her doctoral thesis research. While a doctoral student at WashU, Beeler worked in the lab of Rajan Chakrabarty, the Harold D. Jolley Career Development Associate Professor.

Beeler is the second McKelvey Engineering alum in recent years to receive the Pauling Fellowship. Jeff Czajka, who earned a doctorate in environmental engineering from McKelvey Engineering in 2021, was a 2022 Pauling Fellow. Czajka also completed the SCGSR program as a graduate student. He worked in the lab of Yinjie Tang, professor of energy, environmental & chemical engineering.

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