Hamish Gordon is an assistant professor in the department of chemical engineering and the Center for Atmospheric Particle Studies. His research interests are focused on the effects of air pollution and natural airborne particles on clouds and climate. He received his first degree from the University of Cambridge in 2009, and his doctorate from the University of Oxford in experimental high energy physics in 2013. He moved to Carnegie Mellon from a postdoc position at the University of Leeds in 2019.

Gordon’s research in atmospheric science is based around developing weather prediction and climate models. He aims to help the models better represent airborne particulate matter and its effect on clouds. To improve the models, he simulates particular regions of interest at high resolution to study atmospheric processes. He compares the simulations with detailed observations of atmospheric properties. He has also participated in the collection of these observations, and in laboratory experiments designed to help improve models. He continues to be involved in the CLOUD experiment at CERN, where he worked from 2013 to 2016. This experiment studies the formation of new particles in the atmosphere from gases such as sulfuric acid. More recently, he also participated in an aircraft study of how smoke mixes into clouds above the south Atlantic Ocean.

2112 Doherty Hall
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Hamish Gordon
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Understanding How Clouds Affect Earth’s Climate


2013 Ph.D., Physics, Oxford

2010 MS, Natural Sciences, Cambridge

2009 BA, Natural Sciences, Cambridge

Media mentions

Sanchez earns presentation award from AMS

ChemE Ph.D. student Victor Sanchez was the 2nd place winner of the Oral Student Presentation Award at the Conference on Probability and Statistics during the American Meteorological Society (AMS) annual meeting.

Chemical Engineering

Predicting air pollution effects on the weather

Researchers designed a setup of the global climate model that adds the capability to simulate air pollutants in simulations like weather forecasts.

Scott Institute

Three CMU energy projects receive Scott Institute Seed Grants

Three CMU-led energy projects have been awarded seed grants from the Wilton E. Scott Institute for Energy Innovation.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Ghosh awarded A&WMA Scholarship

PhD candidate Pratapaditya Ghosh has been awarded the Air Quality Research and Study scholarship from the Air & Waste Management Association (A&WMA). Advised by Professor Hamish Gordon, Ghosh's research looks to understand how aerosol particles activate to form fog and cloud droplets.


Gordon comments on release of benzene into the air

ChemE’s Hamish Gordon spoke with WTAE about a recent accidental release of benzene into the air from the Shell ethane cracker plant in Beaver County, PA. While benzene is a toxic volatile organic compound, Gordon thinks acute or immediate health effects from this release are unlikely.

Civil and Environmental Engineering

Asch awarded National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate Fellowship

CEE Ph.D. student Noah Asch has been granted the 2023 National Defense Science and Engineering Graduate (NDSEG) Fellowship Award by the US Department of Defense.


Sullivan and Gordon receive DOE award

MechE’s Ryan Sullivan and Research Accelerator Hamish Gordon have received funding from the Department of Energy to continue studying how wildfire emissions could affect the climate.

CMU Engineering

Discovery uncovers need for ammonia emission regulations

A new discovery sheds light on one way new particles are forming in the upper troposphere. Published in Nature, the study’s findings suggest that in addition to carbon dioxide, there are other compounds in need of immediate attention and regulation.

Chemical Engineering

DEP declares Code Orange; Gordon explains

The Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) has declared a Code Orange Air Quality Action Day for fine particulate matter in Pittsburgh and several surrounding counties. Assistant Research Professor, Hamish Gordon, explains what led to the current conditions.

Chemical Engineering

Faculty earn DOE Awards for Atmospheric Research

Carnegie Mellon University’s Coty Jen and Hamish Gordon have earned Department of Energy (DOE) awards for their work in atmospheric research.

Two engineering faculty projects awarded grants

The Accelerator’s Hamish Gordon and ECE’s Amritanshu Pandey were recently announced as winners of the Digital Transformation Institute awards, which this year focused on “digital transformation & AI for energy and climate security.”