John Seinfeld, the Louis E. Noel Professor of Chemical Engineering at Caltech, is one of two winners of the 2012 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement for advancing scientific understanding of air pollution.

After earning his Ph.D. in chemical engineering from Princeton in 1967, Seinfeld joined the faculty at Caltech and began to concentrate on the study of air pollution. His specialty is the complicated interactions among a range of pollutants, such as those of man-made emissions and natural emissions from plants, and the new molecules they produce. The repercussions of this mixing of emission particles is known to play a detrimental role in human health and the earth’s climate. Seinfeld’s “groundbreaking work leading to the understanding of the origin, chemistry, and evolution of particles in the atmosphere” is what led to his being awarded the Tyler Prize.

Established in 1973 as one of the first international environmental awards, The John and Alice Tyler Prize recognizes work in environmental science, environmental health and energy that greatly benefits mankind. The Tyler Prize is administered by the University of Southern California.