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New Research Centre to tackle atmospheric and air pollution problems

A new University of Hertfordshire Research Centre which will contribute to international research on air quality, pollution, and issues associated with understanding climate behaviour, has been formed this month.

The Centre for Atmospheric and Instrumentation Research (CAIR) which is based at the University’s College Lane campus was formed by bringing together three long-standing research areas within the Science and Technology Research Institute: Atmospheric Dynamics and Air Quality, led by Professor Ranjeet Sokhi; Particle Instruments and Diagnostics, led by Professor Paul Kaye; and Light Scattering and Radiative Processes, led by Dr Joseph Ulanowski.

These areas have together attracted some £4 million in research grants over the past five years for work in atmospheric modelling and measurement and enjoy strong collaborative links with organisations throughout Europe and the USA. CAIR already has a substantial portfolio of research projects with a critical mass of high quality research staff and students.

Professor Sokhi welcomed the new Centre: “Jointly, the three teams now provide us with an enhanced capacity to participate in international collaborations at a significantly higher level, with correspondingly increased funding, but also have the combined expertise to help tackle some of the multidisciplinary issues facing atmospheric science.”

Professor Kaye said: “Our instrumentation and measurement research work grew out of the need to detect harmful airborne particles such as asbestos fibres or bacteria. Now, our efforts are focused on developing instruments for atmospheric research organisations such as the Met Office and NCAR (US National Centre for Atmospheric Research). Merging with our own atmospheric scientists in the University’s Science and Technology Research Institute (STRI), who have established collaborations across Europe, can only enhance or further strengthen our profile.”

Dr Joseph Ulanowski stressed the benefits of working in a diverse research environment. “When the STRI was established, one of the anticipated benefits of bringing together engineers, physicists, astronomers and computer scientists was the prospect of being able to explore interdisciplinary areas that require a broad range of knowledge and research skills. CAIR must be the largest example so far of that policy bearing fruit.”

More details of CAIR research can be found at

Helene Murphy | alfa
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