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Neel Desai

Research Associate

Neel got his PhD degree in Atmospheric Sciences from Michigan Technological University. His graduate research focused on the effect of turbulence on cloud droplet growth in warm clouds as well as droplet and ice particle interactions in mixed phase clouds. He used digital in-line holography to study droplets and ice in three dimensional volume measurements. He performed experiments in the Michigan Tech Pi Chamber, Michigan Tech Turbulence Chamber and other research facilities like the Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS) in Leipzig, Germany. He also analyzed airborne holographic measurements from the CSET campaign over the Pacific Ocean. He currently has two peer reviewed journal publications and a number of conference presentations from his graduate research.

He has now joined the Climate and Process Modeling group at BNL as a postdoctoral fellow to continue research on cloud-aerosol interactions, effect of turbulence on cloud processes and precipitation as well as modeling of such processes.



  • Michigan Technological University, Ph.D, Atmospheric Sciences, 2013.
  • University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MS, Aerospace Engineering, 2012.
  • University of Mumbai, BS, Mechanical Engineering, 2010.

Areas of Interest

  • atmospheric physics, clouds and observational methods to study them;
  • the effect of turbulence on droplet condensation and collision coalescence
    in warm clouds, as well as droplet-ice interactions in mixed phase clouds;
  • analyzing field observation data of marine stratocumulus and cumulus clouds during the CSET campaign;
  • analyzing LiDAR wind velocity data to study marine boundary layer properties over Lake Michigan.

Awards, Honors and Memberships

  • July 2018, Michigan Technological University Finishing Fellowship Award -- Awarded to students recognized by the Graduate Dean Awards Advisory Panel for research, publication record, and contribution to the mission of Michigan Tech.
  • Feb 2018, Trans National Access Eurochamp 2020 Scholarship Award -- Awarded for high impact research collaboration with Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research, Leipzig, Germany.
  • Dec 2017, Outstanding student paper at American Geophysical Union, Fall 2017 Meeting -- Awarded for Influence of microphysical variability which showed signatures of Stochastic condensation in laboratory as well as in-situ clouds measurements.


  • Graduate Research Assistant, Michigan Technological University, Houghton MI, 2014-2018.
  • Visiting Researcher, Leibniz Institute for Tropospheric Research (TROPOS), Feb 2017-Mar 2018.
  • Research Assistant, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, 2012-2013.
  • Research Project Lead, Nuclear Power Corporation of India Ltd. (NPCIL), Mumbai, 2009-2010.
  • Summer Internship, Center for Computational Technologies (CCTECH), Pune, India, Summer 2010.

External Service

  • 2011-2012, Graduate Student Advisory Committee University of Michigan Aersopace Eng., Ann Arbor -- Organized and was a part of 10 individuals acting as mentors for incoming graduate and undergraduate students to the Aerospace department.
  • 2010-2011, Student Coordinator University of Michigan Housing and Dining, Ann Arbor -- Supervised student and university football team dining along with groups of 25-30 student and union employees at South Quadrangle Housing and Dining.

Selected Publications

Desai, N., Chandrakar, K. K., Kinney, G., Cantrell, W., & Shaw, R. A.  Aerosol-mediated glaciation of mixed-phase clouds: Steady-state laboratory measurements. Geophys. Res. Lettrs 46, 9154-9162, doi:10.1029/2019GL083503 (2019).

Desai, N., Glienke, S., Fugal, J., &Shaw, R. A. Search for microphysical signatures of stochastic condensation in marine boundary layer clouds using airborne digital holography.  J. Geophys. Res. Atmos. 124, 2739-2752, doi:10.1029/2018JD029033 (2019).

Desai, N., K. K. Chandrakar, K. Chang, W. Cantrell, and R. A. Shaw. Influence of Microphysical Variability on Stochastic Condensation in a Turbulent Laboratory Cloud.  J. Atmos. Sci. 75(1), 189-201 (2018).