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IAQM Early Careers Network Meetup and Christmas Social: Air Quality’s Next Top Model – Early Careers Air Quality Modelling Case Studies

07 Dec, 2023 @ 3:00 pm - 5:00 pm

The IAQM Early Careers Network (ECN) provides a forum to learn, practice presentation skills and network with other early career professionals, in a friendly, supportive and accessible environment.

Join us on 7th December for our next in-person meetup in London, where we’ll be showcasing air quality modelling case studies from our ECN members alongside hosting a Christmas social.

Attendance will count as CPD and will provide evidence of development when applying to upgrade from Associate to Member.

15:00 – Registration and Networking
15:15 – Welcome and Introduction
15:20 – Early Careers Presentations

  • Grace Staines, Port of London Authority – Marine Emissions and Dispersion Modelling
    In 2017, the Port of London carried out an emissions inventory for river-based sources of pollutants on the river Thames based on 2016 data. This inventory provided granular data on the emissions (GHGs and air pollutants) produced by different types of vessels that transit through the Thames and allowed us to determine an estimate of how river emissions contributed to the poor air quality in the Greater London Authority (GLA), and non-GLA boroughs. The results from this inventory are what have informed the GLA’s London Atmospheric Emissions Inventory Shipping information since 2016. Based on the results of the inventory, King’s College London carried out dispersion modelling for pollutants on the river, which has since provided a greater understanding of our emission hotspots within the GLA boundary and those boroughs that are most impacted. We have used this information to inform our river-side monitoring network that has been in place since 2019, and as an evidence base for air quality actions that we outline in our Port Air Quality Strategies.

  • Alex Forest, Hydrock – How modelling can give an insight into the effects of Wildfires on Air quality
    Climate change is set to exacerbate the frequency, length and intensity of wildfires across Europe and the UK. These short-term burning incidents can release significant levels of PM2.5 carbon monoxide and NO2 as well as other pollutants, which can sometimes disperse thousands of kilometres. Within this study, which used Hamsterley Forest as a case study, multispectral satellite imagery was combined with GEDI algorithms to determine forest health and biomass, that fed into a conceptually modelled wildfire using AERMOD. Modelled plume dispersion patterns were visualised, actively showing the local populations at the greatest risk of air quality related health hazards.

  • Jekabs Jursins, Ricardo – Warsaw Low Emission Zone
    This presentation delves into the intricacies of modelling various scenarios using an air dispersion model, emphasizing the crucial role of this information in shaping social and economic assessments. Focusing on the implementation of a Low Emission Zone (LEZ), the discussion revolves around the utilization of modelling data to construct a robust economic case. The presentation unfolds the comprehensive approach, integrating health impact assessments and Cost-Benefit Analyses (CBA) to articulate the multifaceted benefits of transitioning towards a Low Emission Zone. By exploring different scenario options, this session illuminates how modelling serves as the cornerstone in developing a compelling narrative for the economic viability and societal advantages of embracing cleaner air initiatives.

  • Yi Zhang and Kit Benjamin, Buro Happold – Modelling diverse air pollution sources in a sensitive area: assessing human and ecological impacts from a proposed greenbelt office campus
    Plans for an office campus development outside of Bristol, UK, would introduce a range of air pollution sources, in a complex area sensitive to potential air pollution impacts. A detailed modelling study was required to demonstrate the impact from the project, undertaken as part of a wider Environmental Impact Assessment. The modelling study involved assessing the impact of traffic emissions and open fireplace chimneys, as well as a number of backup generators.

    The site is in close vicinity to an air quality management area and numerous sensitive ecological habitats of varying designations, which required detailed and robust modelling assessment. Overall, this made for a challenging but compelling technical modelling study that required collaboration with other project teams, and from which many lessons were learned. This presentation will outline these challenges and how they were overcome to quantify air quality impacts as robustly as possible using dispersion modelling.

16:20 – Sessions Close and Networking 
17:00 – Optional social at a nearby pub (The Ship, Southwark)

This event is open exclusively to IAQM Early Careers Network Members. It is free to attend and will take place in person at Hydrock Offices in London. It will not be possible to join this event remotely.

Our Speakers

Headshot of Grace Staines

Grace Staines, Technical Advisor for Air Quality, Port of London Authority
Grace Staines started her career in the demolition industry, working as an Environmental Scientist on sites in the south-east of England. In 2022 she started her role as the Technical Advisor for Air Quality at the Port of London Authority in which she manages various air quality projects including carrying out actions within the Port’s Air Quality Strategy and overseeing the river-side monitoring network. Future ambitions include facilitating the introduction of more alternative vessel propulsion methods on the Thames and working on an international scale.

Headshot of Alex Forest

Alex Forest, Graduate Air Quality Consultant, Hydrock
Working for Hydrock Consultants as a Graduate Air Quality Consultant, Alex studied a Masters in Environmental Modelling, Monitoring and Reconstruction at the University of Manchester. He lives in London.

Headshot of Jekabs Jursins

Jekabs Jursins, Air Quality Consultant, Ricardo
Jekabs is an Air Quality Consultant at Ricardo with specialist experience in EU air quality and emissions policy. He has been instrumental in the air quality impact assessment for the proposed Low Emission Zone in Warsaw, and multiple air quality compliance assessments for EU Member States in accordance with the Ambient Air Quality Directive. Jekabs is currently leading the technical review of National Air Pollution Control Programmes submitted by EU Member States across 2023-2024, which assesses the risk of non-compliance with each Member State’s 2030 emission reduction commitments.

Headshot of Yi Zhang

Yi Zhang, Graduate Air Quality Consultant, Buro Happold
Yi is a Graduate Air Quality Consultant at Buro Happold. She has a first-class (honours) bachelor’s degree in BEng Chemical Engineering From University College London and a master’s degree in Environmental Technology from Imperial College London. She has experience in undertaking air quality assessment, dispersion modelling, and developing BREEAM Indoor Air Quality Plans and LEED Construction Indoor Air Quality Management Plans. Yi is an associate member of the Institute of Air Quality Management and Institution of Environmental Science (AMIEnvSc).

Headshot of Kit Benjamin

Kit Benjamin, Air Quality Consultant at Buro Happold
Kit is an Air Quality Consultant at Buro Happold with over two years’ professional experience in the air quality sector. He has undertaken dispersion modelling for a wide range of projects and purposes, including for air quality assessments and to inform design advice. Prior to joining Buro Happold Kit worked as a Research Technician in the field of Urban Micrometeorology at the University of Reading. He has a first class integrated master’s degree in meteorology and climate (MMet) from the University of Reading. He is an associate member of the Institute of Air Quality Management and Institution of Environmental Science (AMIEnvSc).


07 Dec, 2023
3:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Categories:


Hydrock London Offices
127-131 Great Suffolk Street
London, SE1 1PP United Kingdom

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