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Research Fellowships

Fundamental UV/IR Reference Spectra Analysis and Evaluation

EPA Office of Research and Development

EPA National Science Foundation Graduate Research Internship Program (GRIP) & Graduate Research Fellowship Program (GRFP) Opportunities

Opportunity Title:

Fundamental UV/IR Reference Spectra Analysis and Evaluation

Research Area:


EPA Lab/Center/Office:

National Risk Management Research Laboratory (NRMRL)


Research Triangle Park, NC


6 - 12 months

Brief Summary:

The reference spectra used for pollutant emissions quantitation by typical spectral absorption analyzers are based on empirical derivation from gas standards where possible. However, in the absence of quality reference gas standards, they are many pollutants reliant on theoretical spectra (e.g., HITRAN, PNNL, etc) generated by computational means based on multiple spectroscopic parameters. The quantitative quality and appropriateness of these modeled spectra in the absence of empirical confirmation is an uncertainty for EPA relating to the quality of regulatory emissions measurements.

Opportunity Description:

An NSF Fellow would be a valuable asset to our on-going research to better understand the quality and impact of various IR reference spectra on accurate pollutant measurement. The NSF Fellow candidate would investigate the quality of these various reference spectra and their impact on overall emissions measurement quality. The project involves the following activities: investigating the HITRAN spectral database as well as other computational models and consider the impact of physical parameters such as temperature and pressure on spectral features; empirical investigations on EPA’s high resolution FTIR and UV spectrometers with the primary focus to verify the quality of computational spectra.

Opportunities for Professional Development:

The candidate will have the opportunity to gain experience with several spectral databases and computational models. The candidate will interact with multiple EPA researchers and work with high resolution FTIR and UV spectrometer systems.  Moreover, the candidate will also collaborate with outside researchers from organizations such as NIST and spectrometer manufacturers.

Point of Contact or Mentor:

Jeff Ryan (

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