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Prof. Ding Aijun Receives S. Zilitinkevich Award 2024

Author: Time:2024-05-08 Views:

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Professor Aijun Ding, Dean of Nanjing-Helsinki Institute in Atmospheric and Earth System Sciences, Nanjing University (NJU Nanjing-Helsinki Institute) has been selected to receive the S. Zilitinkevich Memorial Award2024. The award will be handed over to Professor Aijun Ding during the European Meteorological Society (EMS) Annual Meeting in Session UP1.2 Atmospheric boundary-layer processes, turbulence and land-atmosphere interactions followed by the award lecture “Interactions of Atmospheric Chemistry and Atmospheric Boundary Layer: From Megacity to Gigacity”.

As announced on the EMS website, Professor Aijun Ding has made extraordinary contributions to the understanding of the aerosol-planetary boundary layer (PBL) interaction and its application in air pollution control, chemical weather forecast, and mitigation of climate extremes. His seminal contribution to the community is the process-based mechanism understanding of aerosol – planetary boundary layer – weather interactions by linking in-situ measurements and model simulations. He studied air pollution and PBL meteorology based on measurements taken at a flagship station he founded – the Station for Observing Regional Processes of the Earth System (SORPES) – in Nanjing, eastern China, and then extended this topic to the city cluster areas throughout eastern China, i.e. the so-called Gigacity area by coordinating several large-scale intensive field campaigns using platforms such as airships, aircraft and ground-based stations etc. He has identified the critical role of black carbon in suppressing PBL height, thereby worsening air quality in megacities, enhancing pollution transport between city clusters, and even intensifying wildfires under typical climate regimes around the globe. Prof. Aijun Ding has published over 230 peer-reviewed papers in international journals, including Science, Nature Geoscience, and Nature Communications, etc., with more than 20, 200 citations and an h-index of 74 (Google scholar). He has been listed as a Highly Cited Researcher by Clarivate Web of Science since 2020.


The award is an international award that is delivered annually to a creative scientist who has made breakthroughs in atmospheric sciences or oceanography. Nominations for the award are openly selected within international research networks, particularly those related to Zilitinkevich’s activities. Seven organisations have jointly decided to establish the Sergej Zilitinkevich memorial award: World Meteorological Organization (WMO), European Meteorological Society (EMS), International Eurasian Academy of Sciences (IEAS), Atmosphere and Climate Competence Center (ACCC), Institute for atmospheric and Earth system research (INAR) and National Network, Finnish Geophysical Society, Finnish Foundation for Aerosol Research.

Sergej Zilitinkevich is a long-standing convener of the Boundary Layer Session at EMS and his entire life has been devoted to science. For over 50 years, he carried out pioneering work in the physics of atmospheric turbulence and planetary boundary layers. This advanced knowledge of the Earth system has supported the development of weather and air quality predictions and climate modelling. He was born on 13 April 1936 in Leningrad. In 1962, he defended his dissertation for the Candidate of Sciences (equivalent to PhD) in physics and mathematics and was already leading the Air Pollution Laboratory of the Voeikov Main Geophysical Observatory in Leningrad by 1964. This was followed by him being awarded the academic title of Professor of Geophysics by the Presidium of the USSR Academy of Sciences in 1972. During these years, while working in the USSR, Sergej published over 100 scientific peer-reviewed articles and 6 books on planetary boundary layers, air-sea interaction, environmental turbulence, general circulation of planetary atmospheres, theory of climate, and physical aspects of aquatic ecosystem modelling. From 1990 onwards, his scientific career continued in other European countries. He is an Honorary Member of the European Geophysical Union, a member of the International Eurasian Academy of Sciences, of the Academia Europaea, of the Finnish Academy of Science and Letters, and a fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society. He was awarded the Vilhelm Bjerknes Medal of the European Geophysical Society (in 2000), the Alfred Wegener Medal of the European Geophysical Union (in 2015), and the most prestigious award in hydrometeorology, the International Meteorological Organization Prize (in 2019) for outstanding contributions to meteorology, climatology and research in related fields.

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