Chair's Lecture with Viney Aneja
"Is Nitrogen the Next Carbon?"
Viney P. Aneja, Ph.D., Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University
February 28, 2018
- Presentation (PDF)
- Video Recording Note that the lecture starts about 10 minutes into the play time, and Dr. Aneja's microphone was not on in the first few minutes.
Just as carbon fueled the Industrial Revolution, nitrogen has fueled an Agricultural Revolution. The use of synthetic nitrogen fertilizers and the cultivation of nitrogen-fixing crops both expanded exponentially during the last century, with most of the increase occurring after 1960. As a result, the current flux of reactive, or fixed, nitrogen compounds to the biosphere due to human activities is roughly equivalent to the total flux of fixed nitrogen from all natural sources, both on land masses and in the world’s oceans. Natural fluxes of fixed nitrogen are subject to very large uncertainties, but anthropogenic production of reactive nitrogen has increased almost five-fold in the last half-century, and this rapid increase in anthropogenic fixed nitrogen has removed any uncertainty on the relative importance of anthropogenic fluxes to the natural budget. The increased use of nitrogen has been critical for increased crop yields and protein production needed to keep pace with the growing world population. However, similar to carbon, the release of fixed nitrogen into the natural environment is linked to adverse consequences at local, regional, and global scales. Anthropogenic contributions of fixed nitrogen continue to grow relative to the natural budget, with uncertain consequences.
Dr. Viney Aneja is a Professor and Co-Director of Graduate Programs in the Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, at North Carolina State University (NCSU) where he developed one of the nation’s leading agricultural air quality and climate research programs. His work focuses on natural and anthropogenic emissions of nitric oxide, ammonia, and sulfur compounds, with emphasis on science needed to make important decisions on environmental, sustainability, and climate policies in North Carolina and the nation. He has a long and distinguished record of public service, and has been frequently sought as an advisor on issues related to environmental science and public policy.
Before joining NCSU in 1987, he conducted and supervised research at Corporate Research and Development, General Electric (GE) Company, New York, where he won Noryl Division Proprietary Innovation Award (1983) and GE Managerial Award (1986) in recognition for his achievements. During his career, he served as a member of U.S. Agricultural Air Quality Task Force (2001-2008), North Carolina Governor’s Task Force on Hazardous Materials (2006-2007), and Scientific Advisory Board under U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA), among others. In recent years, he served on the U.S. EPA’s Board of Scientific Counselors Executive Committee, and chaired its subcommittee for Air, Climate, and Energy research program (2014-2017). Dr. Aneja also served as a Director of the Air and Waste Management Association (AWMA), and Chair of AWMA’s Education Council. His contributions at AWMA were recognized with Frank A. Chambers Award, the Association’s highest scientific honor (1998) and with Lyman A. Ripperton Award for distinguished achievement as an educator (2001). Dr. Aneja also received the North Carolina Award in Science (2007); the highest award given to a civilian from the Governor of North Carolina. In the following years, he was appointed by the Governor of North Carolina to serve in North Carolina Scientific Advisory Board.
Dr. Aneja received his B. Tech. in chemical engineering at Indian Institute of Technology in Kanpur, India, and his M.S. and Ph.D. in chemical engineering at NCSU in Raleigh, North Carolina. Throughout his career, he has published over 180 scientific papers, 127 book chapters and conference proceedings scientific papers, 47 technical reports, 5 U.S. patents, and three books on his research. He also directed 8 post-doctoral fellows, 14 doctoral dissertations, and 41 masters’ theses.
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