Can you say a few words about yourself?
I am Giannis Haniotis, 29 years old, and I come from Athens, Greece. My grandparents come from Paros (father’s side) and Messenia (mother’s side). I currently reside in Penteli, a suburb of Athens. I graduated from Varvakeio High School in 2011 and from the National and Kapodistrian University of Athens (NKUA) , School of Physics in 2018 (BSc Physics) and in 2020 (Msc Applied Physics, Environmental Physics & Meteorology). I’m currently a PhD student in the NKUA since 2020, and a visiting PhD student in EPFL.
Did you choose your profession, or did it choose you?
Since I was a kid, I always loved to observe and predict the weather, as well as to understand the laws that govern its behavior. In 2019, I met George Kallos, an emeritus professor at NKUA, who supervised my master’s thesis and provided me with working experience. During my studies, I was fascinated by the complex microphysical processes of aerosol particles and their potential at contributing to climate conditions, human health, and activities.
What attracted you to join LAPI?
Prof. Athanasios Nenes co-supervises my PhD thesis and offered me the chance to join LAPI, a large team that specializes in molecular and atmospheric chemistry.
Can you speak about the projects you are currently working on and other ones in the past?
For my studies I use a special version of the Regional Atmospheric Model System (RAMS), the Integrated Community Limited Area Modelling System (ICLAMS), developed by the university of Athens Atmospheric Modelling and Weather Forecast Group (AM&WFG). ICLAMS includes the production cycle of dust and sea salt particles, as well as the cloud processes in which they are involved. I also use various versions of the Weather Research & Forecasting Model (WRF-ARW, WRF-Chem), that have many capabilities. In 2021, I cooperated with members from the International Center for Agricultural Research in the Dry Areas (ICARDA) to examine the effects of vegetation changes in dust uptake and air quality, in various arid and semi-arid regions of the planet, such as the Jordan-Badia and the Aral Sea. In 2022, I participated in the 1stMedCyclones workshop and training school, that took place in Athens (27/06-02/07), provided by the European network for Mediterranean cyclones in weather and climate (COST Action CA19109). I am currently working on a paper that focuses on the impact of desert dust on storm systems in the Eastern Mediterranean.
What have been some of your biggest challenges?
Without a doubt, my biggest challenge is to stay focused on research while getting the work done with my job. I am currently working with a company (WeMET) that cooperates with Lenovo and the Saudi Arabian National Center for Meteorology (NCM). My task is to provide statistical reports regarding the performance of the operational weather models of NCM.
What have been some of your biggest successes?
Through the years, I have acquired working experience and technical skills. I am not afraid to look at code.
What do you enjoy to do, outside of science and research?
I listen to and play music (Electric guitar and keyboards). I don’t compose new music.
Where is the most interesting place you’ve been?
Hamburg and Zurich, 2006
A free thought for the end?
Keep focused on my goals, without burning out my free time.
George Kallos, who supervised my PhD, passed away on July 31, 2022. Athanasios Nenes had close connections with him and helped me continue my studies through LAPI.