Reaching, engaging and supporting ECRs in the atmospheric chemistry community

ECR Spotlight: Elisa Majamäki

Elisa Majamäki is a PhD candidate at Aalto University, Finland. She recently won an award at the International Technical Meeting On Air Pollution Modeling And Its Application (ITM conference) for her presentation on shipping emissions and their impact on air quality.

What do you think makes the ITM conference special?

ITM conference is one of the oldest and most prominent forums in the field of air pollution modeling. I believe that one advantage of the conference is that the topics are well-defined so that the conference target audience is also relatively narrow. These settings provide an atmosphere where it is easy to engage with fellow conference attendees and build connections. Personally, I very much enjoy the fact that there are no parallel sessions in ITM and thus, it is possible to see all presentations in the conference. 

What was the reason for receiving the award at ITM?

In ITM23 I received the award for the best presentation from an early career scientist with an abstract titled “Improving the global predictions of shipping emission by modeling the effects of ambient conditions”. In addition to focusing on the quality of the abstract, I put a lot of effort into preparing a presentation that is telling a clear and concise story so that the audience with different backgrounds and expertise can follow. I believe this was one of the main reasons for receiving the award.

What advice would you give to other ECRs?

If you have an opportunity to present your work you should absolutely take it regardless of feeling nervous about the public talk. Presenting your work can provide new perspectives and ideas that could be applicable to your research and can lead to collaborations and mentorship opportunities. I think it is important to practice your talk and keep it simple as usually the listeners are not working on the exact same topic as you. You can always discuss the technical details with those who are interested after the presentation.

What do you love most about the field?

I enjoy model development because it is challenging and pushes me to think critically and creatively. Problem-solving type of work suits me well because it keeps the daily work diverse and exciting. Additionally, air pollution is one of the most severe problems we are facing globally and working towards the solution, or even a small part of it, makes the work meaningful and fulfilling.

How do you create a good work-life balance?

I try to find hobbies that I am enthusiastic about so that it is easy to take a break from work. I also do my best to have a clear distinction between work and leisure time.



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