Mrs. Megan He


Can you say a few words about yourself ?

I was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan, a college town in the Midwestern U.S. I attend Yale University, where I am studying Environmental Engineering and Global Affairs, and I will begin my fourth year (Bachelor’s) in the fall. This summer, I am working as a research intern at EPFL.

Did you choose your profession or did it choose you?

I have long been curious about environmental issues, but in college I realized that I was most interested in learning about what’s in the air we breathe and how that impacts people, the climate, and ecosystems. I am drawn to the research process and the unearthing of new information, so I would say I chose this field and major.

What attracted you to join LAPI?

The research areas at LAPI are so diverse and interdisciplinary, ranging from modeling to fieldwork, and the lab also collaborates with scientists and engineers worldwide. I am excited to learn about and apply the different measurement and analytical tools to further study atmospheric processes. Lausanne also seems like a wonderful place to stay during the summer!

Can you speak about the projects you are currently working on and other ones in the past?

The project that I am currently working on looks at how aerosol acidity impacts nutrient deposition, plant growth, and ecosystem health. We collect samples of gases and particles at the Bois-Chamblard field site and analyze the exposure of soil and plants to macronutrients.

Back at Yale, my research focuses on characterizing organic emissions and secondary organic aerosol formation from nontraditional sources such as Canadian oil sands.

What have been some of your biggest challenges?

Probably first getting started in environmental engineering research and getting through the initial learning curve.

What have been some of your biggest successes?

I am most proud of getting a Goldwater Scholarship for my undergraduate research projects, and of my experience mentoring underclassmen studying STEM.

What do you enjoy to do, outside of science and research ?

I enjoy running in nature, baking scones, listening to a variety of podcasts, and spending time with family and friends.

Where is the most interesting place you’ve been?

Mont Saint-Michel. It looks like it came straight out of a fairytale.

A free thought for the end?

Never look back unless you are planning to go that way. (from Henry David Thoreau)