Nate Massa

Nate Massa, Undergraduate student, Chemical Engineering

Measures hazardous aerosols

Hometown: Libertyville, IL
Faculty mentor/advisor: Dr. Charles Stanier
Degree and expected graduation: I am currently pursuing a BSE in Chemical Engineering and will graduate in spring of 2023.
Please describe your research: My research focuses on assisting in aerosol generation and detection of cyclic siloxanes and their decomposition in the atmosphere. This is to see if the decomposed products from cyclic siloxanes are hazardous to human lungs.
In simple terms, why does this research matter? Cyclic siloxanes are commonly used in non-stick spray deodorant and sunscreen as well as shampoo and other personal health products. The siloxanes break apart in the atmosphere into potentially harmful products that have yet to be tested which is a health concern.
How soon after starting at the University were you able to participate in research? I first got the job second semester of my sophomore year but due to COVID-19, I didn’t really participate until that summer.
How has being involved in research made you more successful at the University of Iowa? Research has taught me how to problem solve and design experiments both of which are very useful skills in engineering.
What are my career goals and/or plans after graduation? I would like to continue along the path of research as a PhD student hopefully more focused on polymers and material science.

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