Zhenyu Tian, PhD, joins the College of Science Chemistry and Chemical Biology department as an assistant professor this fall. Dr. Tian received his PhD from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and later completed his post-doctoral work at the University of Washington. His plans at Northeastern University include starting his own lab focusing on environmental and analytical chemistry.
Why did you choose to come to Northeastern?
I chose Northeastern for two reasons: First, the job description matched perfectly with my expertise (environmental/analytical chemistry) and the proposed research focus on pollutant analysis is what I have been pursuing throughout my career. Second, I was looking for jobs in the Northeastern U.S., and Boston is an ideal location.
What areas of research are you focused on or have focused on in the past?
My research focuses on the analysis and risk assessment of organic contaminants. There are hundreds of thousands of synthetic chemicals used in our daily life, and many of them are released into our water, air, soil and become contaminants. My job is to find these chemicals and measure their abundance. Specifically, I am an expert in the identification of unknown toxic pollutants.
What are you currently working on?
I am preparing for group recruitment, drafting grant proposals, and writing/revising manuscripts.
Are you actively part of any labs or have plans to join/start a lab at Northeastern?
Yes, I will start a lab at Northeastern, and it will focus on environmental analytical chemistry.
What excites you the most about continuing your career at Northeastern?
I’m most excited about the chance to work with great students and collaborate with talented faculty members.
What do you hope to get out of your time here as a faculty member?
First, I would like to build a well-respected research program here at Northeastern, do some research with real impact, and bring in some external funding support. Second, I hope to become an effective educator and mentor, guiding the next generation of environmental scientists and chemists.
What courses are offering this semester, and which are you most excited to teach?
I won’t be teaching until the spring when I teach Analytical Chemistry or Principles of Mass Spectrometry.
What is a fun fact our community should know about you?
I still have difficulty spelling Massachusetts (this one, you see, came from the spelling check).