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Air Quality Celebration


Prof. Roy Harrison OBE, has received the distinction of being elected a Fellow of the Royal Society.  Roy is Queen Elizabeth II Birmingham Centenary Professor of Environmental Health at the University of Birmingham. 

He has a long and distinguished academic career in air pollution and its impact on human health.  He recently arranged a seminar at the University to celebrate his achievement, to which he invited colleagues he has worked with over the last few decades. 

Prof. Duncan Laxen, Managing Director of Air Quality Consultants, was invited to provide a presentation on Air Quality Management in the UK.  Duncan was privileged to be Roy’s first PhD student at Lancaster University.  They first published a paper together in 1977, with their last paper published in 2012.

The presentation by Duncan emphasised that Air Quality Management requires more than an understanding of the science to deliver improvements.  He set out that it also requires campaigns and public support, legislation and enforcement, technology and financial support.  He illustrated this with four examples of air quality management in practice: sulphur dioxide and smoke, lead, carbon monoxide, and nitrogen dioxide.  While most had been successfully addressed, he noted that nitrogen dioxide was still a work in progress, with Defra about to provide its updated Air Quality Plan, having failed to deliver the necessary improvements to date.

Photos:  Roy Harrison, Duncan Laxen and cover of book they co-authored in 1981

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