September 29, 2023
Staff Accomplishment

Wu Receives Outstanding Contribution Award

Mingxuan Wu honored for contributions to the Energy Exascale Earth System Model

Photo of Mingxuan Wu

Mingxuan Wu received an Outstanding Contribution Award for his work on aerosol modeling capabilities in the Energy Exascale Earth System Model.

(Photo by Andrea Starr | Pacific Northwest National Laboratory)

Mingxuan Wu, an Earth scientist at Pacific Northwest National Laboratory (PNNL), received an Outstanding Contribution Award for work on the Energy Exascale Earth System Model (E3SM). This award recognizes “team members who make exceptional contributions to the critical but less visible aspects of E3SM model development.” Typically, two researchers receive an award annually, but this year’s awards covered the past three years as ceremonies were not held in 2021 or 2022.

E3SM is the Department of Energy’s state-of-the-science Earth system model which began in 2004. It uses resources from across the national laboratories, bringing together researchers and computational power to tackle challenging problems related to modeling the Earth.

“Some of the important work that allows E3SM to have an impact can easily go unrecognized,” said Battelle Fellow Ruby Leung from PNNL and the Chief Scientist of E3SM. “The Outstanding Contribution Awards are a way we can honor exceptional contributions to E3SM that might not be highlighted otherwise.”

Wu was selected for his contributions to multiple areas of E3SM, with a particular emphasis on his aerosol modeling work. Wu has devoted substantial efforts in developing a nitrate aerosol scheme and integrating the secondary organic aerosol scheme into E3SM. This required working flexibly with numerous other researchers to reconcile errors.

“I’m so honored to receive this award,” said Wu. “I’m very grateful to have E3SM leadership recognize my contributions. I have been fortunate to enjoy great teamwork within the E3SM model development and integration teams. It has been an absolute pleasure to work with brilliant scientists at PNNL and elsewhere on this work over the past few years.”

Wu joined PNNL in 2019 as a postdoctoral researcher. While at PNNL, his work has focused on modeling aerosol and its interactions with clouds, the climate, and other parts of the atmosphere. His work initially focused on enabling E3SM to model nitrate aerosol and understanding how the aerosol interacts with climate. Wu’s recent work involves integrating schemes for nitrate aerosol and secondary organic aerosol into E3SM and solving urgent issues during their integration into E3SMv3. In addition to E3SM aerosol development work, Wu has also worked on model evaluation of aerosols using satellite and ground-based measurements and assessment of climate response to perturbations in aerosol and precursor gas emissions. He earned a PhD and MS in atmospheric science from the University of Wyoming and his BS in atmospheric science from Nanjing University.