Carlos Pérez García-Pando awarded the Agustín de Betancourt prize for young researchers

22 November 2017

The award ceremony took place in Madrid and it was headed by the RAI’s president, Elías Fereres

The Royal Academy of Engineering (RAI, in its Spanish acronym) has awarded researcher Carlos Pérez García-Pando, group leader of Atmospheric Composition and AXA Professor in the Barcelona Supercomputing Center, the Agustín de Betancourt y Molina prize for young researchers. Pérez García-Pando has received this recognition for his contributions in the field of environmental risks, and in particular, in the field of mineral aerosols.

The Agustín de Betancourt y Molina prize recognises researchers and professionals that have carried out original and relevant contributions in any of the engineering fields, taking into account especially those aspects related to technology transfer.

RAI’s Awards Commission has valued and highlighted Pérez García-Pando’s leadership and scientific production in his research field, which deals with multiple aspects of atmospheric pollution: from the understanding of the physical and chemical processes which affect pollutants in the atmosphere, to the evaluation of their impact in climate, the ocean’s biogeochemistry, and air and health quality.

About Carlos Pérez García-Pando and his research project

Carlos Pérez García-Pando came back to BSC in 2016, after eight years in the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Sudies in New York. He then came back to take over the Atmospheric Composition group in the BSC and to manage an AXA chair dealing with mineral dust storms, which was granted to him by the AXA Research Fund.

Pérez García-Pando and his research group at BSC develop and apply complex multi-scale atmospheric chemistry models, which allows both to tackle fundamental scientific issues, and to generate applied air and climate quality prediction tools from local to global scales. Within this field of numeric modelling, Pérez García-Pando is regarded as a reference in mineral aerosols. These aerosols are emitted mainly in arid and semi-arid regions, they are the most abundant globally in terms of mass, they dominate the atmospheric aerosol in extensive regions of the planet, and their important influence in the climatic system encompasses a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. The extreme events of mineral aerosols are popularly known as “dust storms”. These pose serious health and environmental problems, and they also affect the daily living and economic activity of many countries, especially in north Africa and the Middle-East. The objective of the research led by Pérez García-Pando is to gain a greater knowledge of the mechanisms that facilitate mineral dust emission in arid zones, and their transport at a regional and global scale in order to improve the prediction models, as well as to understand its effects on the climate and its socioeconomic impacts.