There are ancient cathedrals … the result of giving to ordinary human effort a direction and a purpose... Science has its cathedrals, built by the efforts of a few architects and many workers.

Gilbert Newton Lewis

Silvia Margarita Calderón


Senior Research Fellow
Chemical Thermodynamics and Phase Equilibria, Modeling of aerosol-cloud interactions and atmospheric processes in general. Population Balance Modeling.


A long time ago in a country far away … called Venezuela, I fell in love with Chemical Thermodynamics and Phase Equilibria during a lesson with Prof. Julián Suárez Gómez. His explanation about entropy just captivated me and set my lifetime goals. I got a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the University of South Florida (USA) and worked as Professor at the School of Chemical Engineering in Universidad de Los Andes, Venezuela from 1999 to 2018.

In ATMOS I study the surface phenomena relevant to aerosol-cloud interactions using thermodynamics to model the properties of microscopic droplets. I am part of a team effort to build a framework that describes how surfactants affect the cloud activation efficiency of atmospheric aerosols. The main challenge is having a feasible framework of low computational demand that can be added to global climate model and still can describe the wide spectrum of aerosols properties. After all, aerosols are like persons, each particle is unique and behaves in consonance with its age and nature. Hopefully, our research will help to understand the role of aerosols on cloud formation and will give unambiguous evidence of their impact on climate change.

Research interests

  • Aerosol-Cloud-Interactions
  • Climate Change
  • Thermodynamic of aqueous surfactant solutions
  • Modeling of disperse systems

Research groups

  • Researcher, ATMOS - Atmospheric Research Group