Birmingham boosts for next generation of clean air leaders

 Tuesday, September 27, 2022 

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The next generation of environmental leaders are coming to the University of Birmingham with the appointment of three clean air Fellows – the first programme of its kind in the UK.

A trio of young environmental scientists – two from the UK and one from North Macedonia, the most polluted country in Europe – will pursue a master’s degree in Air Pollution Management and Control as McCall MacBain Clean Air Fellows.

The Clean Air Fund and the University of Birmingham, with the support of the McCall MacBain Foundation launched the Fellowship earlier this year – calling for young scientist to apply for the programme.

Designed by academics who are world-leading in their field, the programme identifies individuals who can demonstrate a strong rationale for studying air pollution and can commit to tackling the problem through their career choice after they graduate.

The inaugural Fellows are:

Lejla Ademi, from Tetova, North Macedonia
Owain Rose , from Port Talbot, Wales
Catrin Rathbone, from Horsham West Sussex
Professor Francis Pope, School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of Birmingham, commented: “The University of Birmingham is passionate about clean air – we’re at the forefront of research on the causes and effects of air pollution upon human health across the United Kingdom and across the globe.

“The Fellowships are the first of their kind in the UK. We believe they will be instrumental in producing the next generation of clean air leaders; young scientists with the tools to understand and unlock the twin threats of air pollution and climate change.”

Designed by academics who are world-leading in their field, the programme takes an interdisciplinary approach, utilising expertise across departments for a holistic understanding of air pollution and its effects. Birmingham has over 100 researchers studying clean air from across its five colleges. The campus operates state-of-the-art pollution research facilities, which have been commissioned for several seminal air pollution studies.

Lejla Ademi commented: “Being part of the McCall MacBain Clean Air Fellowship will provide me the training I need to tackle air pollution in my home country. The Air Pollution Management and Control Masters is unique, and it allow me to create a less polluted, cleaner Tetovo. Being part of a global community of air pollution experts will give me the skillsets to with the North Macedonian Ministry of Environment to help the people of my city and country.”

The fellows will pursue a master’s degree in Air Pollution Management and Control and can commit to tackling the problem through their career choice after they graduate.

Sean Maguire, Director of Strategic Partnerships at the Clean Air Fund, commented: “The UN recognises that air pollution and climate change are two sides of the same coin. However, we’re only just starting to understand how the two relate and the possible consequences and impact of air pollution on climate change. This programme is an important step towards understanding and addressing these challenges.”

The University of Birmingham is at the forefront of research on the causes and effects of air pollution upon human health across the United Kingdom and globally. The course is accredited by the Institute of Environmental Sciences and the Institute of Air Quality Management.

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