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Graduate student success source of greatest pride

Brian K. Lamb, Boeing Distinguished Professor of Environmental Engineering, has a new title to call his own: Regents Professor.

A long line of awards paved his road towards Regents Professor, including the Outstanding Research Award, College of Engineering and Architecture (2002); Outstanding Graduate Adviser Award, WSU Association of Graduate Students (1999-2000); and the Leon Luck Faculty Award for the Most Effective Faculty Member, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering (1994).

“We (faculty) get these awards because of the graduate students we have,” said Lamb. “They are the number one thing I am proud of — what they have done and the record they have built for our group on a national and international level.”

Lamb has other things to be proud of as well. Beginning in 1987, he directed initial development of the Biogenic Emission Inventory System (BEIS), a tool now widely used for research and for state and federal regulatory purposes.

Biogenic emissions are volatile organic compounds given off by vegetation and nitric oxide in soils. They are recognized as significant contributors to ozone formation in heavily vegetated regions of the U.S.

Many urban and regional analyses of ozone pollution employ some version of the BEIS model.

In addition, with his research group, Lamb developed the first operational, daily high-resolution numerical air-quality forecast system in the U.S. The system produces daily air pollutant forecasts for the Puget Sound area of western Washington.

“Brian is the world’s foremost expert on how pollution disperses in the air. His research has very practical applications in problems as varied as grass burning to terrorist release of airborne toxins,” said Anjan Bose, dean of the College of Engineering and Architecture. “He is a brilliant teacher and brings a great visibility to the WSU research community.”

His students agree. “He’s not only attentive to research and teaching,” said former student Shelley Pressley. “It’s the level of effort he puts into his students that makes him a superior professor.”

“It was a very nice surprise to receive this award,” said Lamb. “It had the effect of revitalizing my energies.”

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