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First MultiSTEPS trainee to receive PhD

Trainee Achievements

First MultiSTEPS trainee to receive PhD

In May 2013, Aaron (AJ) Prussin II will be the first MultiSTEPS trainee to receive a PhD. He combined his background in the life sciences and his expertise in aerobiology with knowledge of engineering science gained in MultiSTEPS to make substantial advances in the understanding of atmospheric transport of plant pathogens, as described in research achievement #1. Through participation in our program, his research evolved from pure aerobiology to include a notable quantity of mechanics and dynamical systems theory. Previously he envisioned a primarily biology-focused career, but he is now taking a post-doc in engineering that focuses on environmental transport. From the acknowledgment section of his thesis, “I would like to specifically thank the Virginia Tech IGERT-MultiSTEPS program for introducing me to the engineering side of biology and helping me realize my passion and enjoyment of engineering. Without MultiSTEPS, my career path would have been dramatically different.”