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John H. Heiser

Senior Environmental Research Engineer



  • Adelphi University, M.S., Physical Chemistry
  • Long Island University, B.S., Chemistry

Areas of Interest

  • Large-scale, field operations including atmospheric dispersion studies, environmental remediation technology demonstrations and environmental monitoring.
  • Tracer technologies including indoor and outdoor dispersion/transport studies. Designing low-power, high-quantity, equipment for remote locations (e.g., battery-powered low flow dispersion systems, rack-mounted release and sampling systems for use in the upper troposphere to lower stratosphere).
  • Environmental investigation of hazardous material transport including air and water transport, in-situ treatment technologies for hazardous and radioactive contamination, verification and monitoring technologies for subsurface barriers and cap/cover systems and development of advanced engineering solutions for containment, solidification and stabilization of hazardous waste.


  • Head of BNL Meteorological Services, which operates and maintains the BNL meteorological network. This group provides data to the site and researchers. The data is used for emergency operations, in transport modeling for dose assessment, in local climatological research, etc. The group maintains a 100 meter tower, a 10 meter tower, the data acquisition building and database (both current and historical).
  • Meteorological monitoring at the 32MW solar farm located in Upton, NY. The Meteorological Services group installed and maintains solar irradiance and meteorological sensors within the farm. The sensors include 64 SP-Lite2s distributed at 25 locations (near inverter boxes) as well as air temperature, panel temperature, relative humidity and soil temperatures (under array and walkway). In addition, we maintain a solar irradiance base station that includes a pyrheliometer (CHP-1), a pyrgeometer (CGR-4), shaded and unshaded research grade pyranometers (CMP-22), one reference solar panal (identical to the solar farm panels) and reference SP-Lite2s mounted horizontal and in-plane (matching the solar farm). The group also collects and maintains the database for these sensors.
  • Principle Investigator for Lidar development effort in support of Office of Naval Research Program for the Encapsulated Perfluorocarbon Tracer Tag, Track and Location System. BNL is developing a mini-LIDAR for the effective stand-off detection of an enhanced duration Perfluorocarbon tracer (PFT) taggant. Based on a CO2 infrared laser, the goal of this project is the stand-off detection of a PFT, in air, at levels of 0.01ppb-m at 0.5 km.
  • Principle Investigator for “Perfluorocarbon Tracer Support for AFTAC Atmospheric Studies”. In this program, BNL was tasked to give technical assistance in designing a 500 to 1000 km atmospheric tracer dispersion study and to design, build and test a complimentary tracer release system that was low power, compact and could be used in remote locations.
  • Principle Investigator for “Tracer Studies – Urban Dispersion Program”. The objective of the New York City Urban Dispersion Program (UDP) [2004-2007] was to study air flow in an urban environment, which would allow validation of transport models. This was the largest urban atmospheric transport study completed to date. Data collected during these studies are being used to improve and validate computer models that simulate the atmospheric movement of contaminants within cities, and around, into and within building interiors. The first of the field studies occurred in March, 2005 and a second, larger field study was completed in August 2005. This second study also contained a subway dispersion test.
  • Principle Investigator for “Using Mini-LIDAR for Verification and Long-term Monitoring of Cover Systems”. This project developed a LIDAR system that can be used for standoff detection of PFTs in the air.
  • Principle Investigator for “Development of Perfluorocarbon Tracer Technology for Verification of Cover Performance”. This program successfully performed proof-of-concept testing of a cover verification technology that uses of gaseous perfluorocarbon tracers to measure cover performance. As a secondary objective, we also demonstrated a field-deployable PFT detection system
  • Principal Investigator for "Stabilization/Containment Systems". The primary objective of this project was to develop and demonstrate at a field-scale, emplacement of a close-coupled barrier technology capable of containing waste forms within their existing subsurface disposal or storage structures. Engineering developments included dual-fluid jet grouting to allow the use of acrylic polymer grouts. The PFT technology was successfully deployed at a test site and at two subsurface barrier demonstrations.
  • Provided technical assistance to DOE In Situ Stabilization projects in determining which grouts will be viable candidates for in situ stabilization.
  • Joint research project with the Russian Research Center, "Kurchatov Institute" in Moscow, Russia, to gain a better understanding of the performance of waste packages in the Kara Sea.

Selected Publications

Heiser, J. and Smith, S. Meteorological services annual data report for 2016. Informal Report, BNL-113464-2017-IR, Jan. 2017.

Heiser, J. and Smith, S. Meteorological services annual data report for 2014. Informal Report, BNL-107413-2015-IR, Jan. 2015.

Kalb, P., Heiser, J., Sullivan, T. M., Watson, T., Brown, D., and Liljegren, J. NYPD Subway-Surface Air Flow Exchange (S-SAFE) Project Final Report and Guidance for Emergency Management. Prepared for the New York Police Department, Informal Report, BNL-107910-2015-IR, May 2015.

Heiser, J. and Smith, S. Meteorological Services Annual Data Report for 2013. Informal Report, BNL-103733-2014-IR, January 2014.

Sullivan, T., Heiser, J., Watson, T., Wilke, R., and Kalb, P. Effects of Outdoor Smoking Areas and Weather Conditions on Indoor Air Quality. 2014 ASHRAE Winter Conference, New York, NY, Jan. 21-23, 2014.

Heiser, J. Brookhaven National Laboratory meteorological services instrument calibration plan and procedures. Informal Report, BNL-99891-2013-IR, February 2013.

Heiser, J. and Smith, S. Meteorological services annual data report for 2012. Informal Report, BNL-100629-2013-IR, Feb. 2013.

Heiser, J., Watson, T., and Allwine, J. Perfluorocarbon Tracer Dispersion Studies in the New York City Subway System. Brookhaven National Laboratory Report, BNL-77946-2007 [FOUO], April 2007.

Sullivan, T. M., J. Heiser, T. Watson, K. J. Allwine, and J. E. Flaherty. Perfluorocarbon Gas Tracer Studies to Support Risk Assessment Modeling of Critical Infrastructure Subjected to Terrorist Attacks. In Computational Models of Risks to Infrastructure, D. Skanata and D.M. Byrd, Eds., NATO Science for Peace and Security Series, D: Information and Communication Security, Vol. 13, pp. 98-110, 2007.

Fthenakis, V. M., Fuhrmann, M., Heiser, J., Lanzirotti, A., Fitts, J., and Wang, W. Emissions and encapsulation of cadmium in CdTe Pv modules during fires. Progress in Photovoltaics: Research and Applications 13, 713-723 (2005).

Watson, T. B., Heiser, J., Kalb, P., Dietz, R. N., Wilke, R., Wieser, R., and Vignato, G. The New York City Urban Dispersion Program March 2005 Field Study: Tracer methods and results. Formal Report, BNL-75592-2006-FR, 2006.

Heiser, J. H. and Sedlacek, A. J. Using Lidar to measure perfluorocarbon tracers for the verification and monitoring of cap and cover systems. Water, Air Soil Pollut. 170, 345-357, doi:10.1007/s11270-005-9007-8 (2006)

Heiser, J., Sullivan, T., and Serrato, S. Long-term verification of cover systems using perfluorocarbon tracers J. Environ. Eng. 131, 952-960, doi:10.1061/(ASCE)0733-9372(2005)131:6(952) (2005).

Hanna, S., Reynolds, M., Heiser, J., and Bornstein, R. Plans for the Madison Square Garden 2004 (MSG04) Tracer Experiment in Manhattan. Proc. of the American Meteorological Society Meeting, Fifth Conference on Urban Environment, pp. 23-27, Vancouver, BC, August 2004.

Fthenakis, V.M., Heiser, J., and Fuhrman, M. Assessment of Air Emissions During the Life Cycle of CdTe PV Modules. International Conference on the Physics, Chemistry and Engineering of Solar Cells, 2004.

Heiser, J. and Sullivan, T. The Brookhaven National Laboratory Perfluorocarbon Tracer Technology: A Proven and Cost Effective Method to Verify Integrity and Monitor Long-Term Performance of Walls, Floors, Caps and Cover Systems. Brookhaven National Laboratory, Formal Report, BNL-52657, April 2002.

Heiser, J.H., Serrato, M., and Sullivan, T.M. Proof-of-Concept Test of a Unique Gaseous Perfluorocarbon Tracer System for Verification and Long-term Monitoring of Caps and Cover Systems Conducted at the Savannah River Site Bentonite Mat Test Facility. Waste Management ‘02, Tucson, AZ, Feb. 2002.

Heiser, J.H., Sullivan, T.M., Milian, L., Wilke, R., Newson, C., and Lilimpakis, M. Using Gaseous Perfluorocarbon Tracers to Characterize Leak Pathways in the Below Grade Ducts of the Brookhaven Graphite Research Reactor. Waste Management ‘01, Tucson, AZ, Feb. 25-Mar 1, 2001.

Heiser, J. and Sullivan, T. Using perfluorocarbon tracers for verification of cap and cover systems performance. Brookhaven National Laboratory, Formal Report, BNL-52647, Dec. 2001.