Vishal Verma

Vishal Verma
Vishal Verma
  • Assistant Professor
(217) 265-6703
3230D Newmark Civil Engineering Bldg

Primary Research Area

  • Environmental Engineering and Science

Research Areas

For more information

Biography

Vishal Verma is an Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with research and education focus on assessing the health impacts of ambient PM2.5. Dr. Verma obtained his Ph.D. from the University of Southern California (2011). Before joining UIUC, he worked as a research scientist at the Georgia Institute of Technology (2011-2015). In his 15 years of research career, he has published 45 peer-reviewed articles in highly ranked journals (12 in ES&T and ES&T letters) and has presented his work in numerous seminars/meetings and conferences, including 30 invited talks. Dr. Verma is past chair of the Health Related Aerosol working group at AAAR and has earned numerous awards and recognitions for his work including the NSF CAREER award (2019), Honorable Mention for the James J. Morgan Early Career Award from Environmental Science and Technology journal, UIUC Center for Advanced Study Fellow (2021-22), and invited chair for special symposiums/sessions on Air Pollution and Health in the annual AAAR and AGU conferences.

Education

  • PhD, Environmental Engineering, University of Southern California, 2011
  • M.Tech, Environmental Science and Engineering, Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay, India, 2004
  • B.E., Environmental Engineering, Delhi College of Engineering, University of Delhi, India, 2002

Academic Positions

  • Visiting Assistant Professor, University of Chile, January 07-January 12, 2018
  • Assistant Professor, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, 2015-present
  • Research Scientist, Georgia Institute of Technology, 2011-2015

Service on Department Committees

  • Member of Civil and Environmental Engineering (CEE) faculty search committee, UIUC, 2018-2019.
  • Chair of the admission committee for Environmental Engineering and Science Program (AY: 2017-2018, 2018-2019 and 2019-2020)
  • Coordinated graduate recruitment weekend presentations in Environmental Engineering and Science Program (Spring 2016, Spring 2017 and Spring 2018)
  • Conducted CEE 195: About Civil Engineering seminars (Fall 2016, Fall 2017 and Fall 2018)

Research Statement

Air pollution is amongst the leading risk factors for premature deaths worldwide, and fine ambient particulate matter (PM below 2.5 μm in size or PM2.5) is most hazardous component of air pollutants. The main focus of Dr. Verma’s research is to identify the components of ambient PM2.5 and their emission sources, which are responsible for inducing adverse health effects in humans. It includes the quantification of their relative contributions, elucidating their unique mechanisms of action, and replicating those mechanisms in laboratory to gain a better understanding of the impact of various PM2.5 emission sources and atmospheric processes on human health. The national ambient air quality standards in both developed and developing nations are currently based on mass concentration of the particles. Dr. Verma has shown that this mass-centered approach is flawed because there is substantial heterogeneity in the toxicities of ambient PM2.5 coming from different emission sources. One prominent hypothesis of his research is that health impacts are driven by the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), a property of ambient PM2.5 known as oxidative potential or ROS activity. Three major thrusts in the pursuit of his research goals are: 1) investigating the role of aerosol composition in the ROS activity and PM2.5 toxicity; 2) creating elegant online and automated instruments for measuring the ROS activity of ambient PM2.5; and 3) developing novel chemical and cellular endpoints for measuring the PM-induced ROS and toxicity. Dr. Verma emphasizes that the integrated approach of incorporating PM2.5 chemical composition and its oxidative properties in toxicological studies as adopted in his research themes is the key for designing effective strategies for controlling relevant PM2.5 sources and combating human exposure to toxic PM2.5 species.

Primary Research Area

  • Environmental Engineering and Science

Research Areas

Chapters in Books

Selected Articles in Journals

Teaching Honors

  • Appeared in the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent with Outstanding Rating (Top 10% Overall Teaching Effectiveness & Course Quality) by Their Students for the course CEE 545 at UIUC (Spring 2019)
  • Appeared in the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent with Outstanding Rating (Top 10% Overall Teaching Effectiveness & Course Quality) by Their Students for the course CEE 545 at UIUC (Spring 2018)
  • Appeared in the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent (Overall Teaching Effectiveness = 4.7/5.0; Overall Course Quality = 4.7/5.0) by Their Students for the course CEE 498 at UIUC (Fall 2017)
  • Appeared in the List of Teachers Ranked as Excellent (Overall Teaching Effectiveness = 4.6/5.0; Overall Course Quality = 4.6/5.0) by Their Students for the course CEE 545 at UIUC (Spring 2017 )