Dr. Xiaoliang Wang

( Desert Research Institute )


(775) 674-7177
  • Institution:Desert Research Institute
  • Departments: atmospheric sciences
  • Research Fields: Air Quality, Environmental, Aerosol, Emissions, Fire Safety
  • Disciplines: Engineering, Environmental/Environmental Health Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
  • Funding:DoE - Department of Energy, Private Industry, Space Grant - National Space Grant College and Fellowship Program


Dr. Wang currently mentors one Ph.D. student (Mining Department) and three M.S. students (Atmospheric Sciences and Mechanical Engineering).


Dr. Wang’s overarching research theme is to understand air pollutant emissions, transformations, and impacts. Specifically, his research interests include physical and chemical characterization of aerosols, pollution source emission measurement, and aerosol instrument development.
Dr. Wang has developed several widely used aerosol instruments. He is a co-inventor of nanoparticle aerodynamic lenses for efficiently delivering particles into aerosol mass spectrometers and the TSI DustTrak DRX Aerosol Monitor for measuring size-segregated aerosol mass concentrations in real time. He led the design of the DRI Portable Emissions Measurement System (PEMS) that has been used for characterizing gases and particles from vehicle exhaust, stack emissions, biomass burning, and biomass-derived syngas. Dr. Wang also led the design of the DRI Model 2015 Multiwavelength Thermal/Optical Carbon Analyzer that has been commercialized and used worldwide.
Dr. Wang has been studying real-world emissions from pollution sources with the goal of improving air quality management. His projects include researching dust emissions in underground coal mines, tailpipe and non-tailpipe (i.e., brake and tire wear, as well as road dust) emissions from vehicle traffic, toxic gas and particle emissions from the open burning of household solid waste in South Africa, smoke emissions from burning lithium-ion batteries and spacecraft-relevant materials, and mining fleet/industrial stack/fugitive dust emissions in the oil sands region of Canada. Recently, he participated in several projects to study the impact of visibility, air quality, and atmospheric deposition of particles generated from wildfires and prescribed burns in the Lake Tahoe Basin.
Dr. Wang is an active participant in several scientific organizations. He conducts peer reviews for scientific publications and funding agencies. He served as co-chair and chair of the Instrumentation Working Group of the American Association of Aerosol Research (AAAR) annual conferences and chair of the Young Investigators Committee of the AAAR.
Dr. Wang has been granted three patents and published three book chapters and 90+ peer-reviewed journal articles. He is the recipient of the 2020 AAAR Benjamin Y. H. Liu Award that recognizes outstanding contributions to aerosol instrumentation and experimental techniques. Most recently, he received the 2021 DRI Science Medal for his outstanding scientific contributions.