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Paul Voss

Associate Professor of Engineering


Ford Hall 251


Paul Voss is a mechanical engineer and atmospheric scientist with interests in pollution transport, climate and miniature flight vehicles. He has developed unique meteorological balloons that can be flown for thousands of miles as they measure pollutants, temperature structure and winds. Voss and his students have participated in major atmospheric research campaigns in New England, Houston, Mexico and the Arctic.

Before joining the Smith faculty, Voss was a research assistant professor in the Department of Geosciences at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. Funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation Physical Meteorology Program, he developed novel altitude-controlled scientific balloons and supervised more than 15 undergraduate research projects.

Voss, on a yearlong fellowship in Italy, studied ancient Rome’s aqueducts and water distribution system. Motivated by the dramatic changes in the landscape that have occurred since antiquity, Voss decided to apply his knowledge of engineering and design to the study of the environment. Returning to the United States, he enrolled as a graduate student and developed field and laboratory experiments to study the effects of carbon dioxide on forest regeneration under a NASA Global Change Fellowship. His graduate research evolved to develop instruments for NASA’s high-altitude ER-2 aircraft and modeling stratospheric chlorine chemistry.

Voss and his wife, Susan Voss, live in Northampton with their two children and dog. He enjoys biking, snow and bungee boarding, and adventures with his family.

Selected Publications

Apel, E. C., Emmons, L. K., Karl, T., Flocke, F., Hills, A. J., Madronich, S., Lee-Taylor, J., Fried, A., Weibring, P., Walega, J., Richter, D., Tie, X., Mauldin, L., Campos, T., Weinheimer, A., Knapp, D., Sive, B., Kleinman, L., Springston, S., Zaveri, R., Ortega, J., Voss, P., Blake, D., Baker, A., Warneke, C., Welsh-Bon, D., deGouw, J., Zheng, J., Zhang, R., Rudolph, J., Junkermann, W., and Riemer, D. D.: Chemical evolution of volatile organic compounds in the outflow of the Mexico City Metropolitan area, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 2353-2375, 2010.

Subramanian, R., Kok, G. L., Baumgardner, D., Clarke, A., Shinozuka, Y., Campos, T. L., Heizer, C. G., Stephens, B. B., de Foy, B., Voss, P. B., and Zaveri, R. A.: Black carbon over Mexico: the effect of atmospheric transport on mixing state, mass absorption cross-section, and BC/CO ratios, Atmos. Chem. Phys., 10, 219-237, 2010.

Riddle, E.E, P.B. Voss, A Stohl. D. Holcomb, D. Maczka, K. Washburn, and R.W. Talbot, Trajectory model validation during ICARTT-2004 using newly developed altitude-controlled balloons, J. Geophys. Res., 111, 2006.

Voss, P.B., E.E. Riddle, and M.S. Smith, Altitude Control of Planetary Balloons, American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics (AIAA) Journal of Aircraft, 43 (2), 478-482, 2005.

Research Grants

  • 2010–11: Arctic Transport Study and CMET Balloon Flights
  • 2005–08: NOAA Targeted Winds Program and the AIRMAP Program at the University of New Hampshire, Durham Development of a long-term atmospheric research station in Western Massachusetts
  • 2005–07: NSF Atmospheric Chemistry Program Evolution of meteorology and ozone in the Mexico City pollution outflow
  • 2002–05: NSF Physical Meteorology Program Lagrangian balloon for atmospheric research


Ph.D. Harvard University
B.S., B.A., Brown University

Selected Works in Smith ScholarWorks