Is this an opportunity for you?
Not too long ago we highlighted “Black Carbon” in our blog “Air quality specialist calls for Black Carbon standard” which discussed this, for us, new term, of a substance which we are told is a powerful force in climate change. We had not intended to talk about this directly again for some time but we received this attention seeking email from Graham Mellor of Buttonwood Marketing which succeeded in ensuring that we would include this one.
Message from Graham!
I spent most of last weekend trying to persuade my eldest son to apply for the PhD position that is the subject of the attached announcement. Sadly, even though this is a truly fantastic opportunity I could not convince him, which is a shame because this really is a unique chance to work on something with global significance.
Black Carbon (BC) is possibly the hottest topic in air quality at the moment, so a PhD studying BC at King’s College London could not be more topical and potentially enormously important.
BC is important not just because of fears that tiny particles of Black Carbon are responsible for thousands of premature deaths but also because BC offers a major opportunity for a short-term positive impact on climate change. (I also have a PR on BC if you are interested?)
An article in last weekend’s Sunday Times said: ‘People living or travelling in Britain’s cities could be sucking in more than 100m tiny toxic pollutant particles with each breath, according to the government’s National Physical Laboratory (NPL). The tiny particles of soot and poisonous carbon compounds come from car exhausts, brakes and tyres and are thought to contribute to about 30,000 premature deaths a year from heart and lung problems.’
The deadline for applications for this PhD is Friday 2nd December so if you don’t print before then, maybe you have a website, newsletter or a blog that could publicise this opportunity?
Or maybe you have a child with more enthusiasm than mine…..”
Well what could we do? Nothing less than publish the damn thing!
Air Monitors sponsors air quality PhD
The instrumentation company Air Monitors has announced that it is sponsoring a new PhD project at King’s College London to study ambient levels of Black Carbon. Applications for this important post must be posted online to the KCL Health School by Friday 2nd December.
Air Monitors’ MD Jim Mills said: “This is a fantastic opportunity to become involved in one of today’s most important air quality issues. Just last week an article in the Sunday Times warned about the role of fine particulates in the thousands of premature deaths that are being attributed to fine particulates and this week the Environmental Audit Committee has claimed that the government’s failure to meet EU standards on air pollution is putting the health of UK residents at risk.”
Better understanding of black carbon concentrations, emission sources and trends are needed for improved policies to control ambient particle concentrations to meet EU Limit Values and to minimise the health effects of air pollution. Improved measurements of black carbon are needed to track changes in emissions of particles from tail pipe combustion and also to determine any air quality impacts of increased burning of wood for space heating. The climate change implications of black carbon emissions provide a further imperative for the better understanding of black carbon emissions.
Standard methods for the measurement of carbon in airborne particles are fraught with challenges including sampling and analytical difficulties; however, the measurement of black carbon by aethalometer provides a real-time alternative. The successful PhD applicant will develop protocols and conduct investigations using three aethalometer variants; a field sampler, personal exposure measurement device and a laboratory based tool. The PhD student will also utilise measurements from the UK aethalometer network.
As a CASE partner Air Monitors Ltd will provide technical advice, equipment and commercial training and linkages to the manufacturer’s research and development team at Magee Scientific (USA) and Aerosol (Slovenia).
So there you have it! By the way a link to the application forms is available at here on Air Monitor’s website!
And Graham, I guess you owe me a pint!
See also these BBC Articles:
• Traffic pollution kills 5,000 a year in UK, says study (17/4/2012)
• London’s air pollution levels, monitoring and EU limits (18/4/2011)