Track Atmospheric Environment Engineering

Picture you live in a city, densely populated, full of traffic and outside it is 35 degrees, while crops are burned in the surroundings and bush fires gone wild. When you step outside breathing is difficult and the heat is paralysing you. Maybe you because you were woken up early by the noise of the construction works and the traffic. Still you don’t long for the rain to come, since the concrete city will turn in a swimming pool with flooded streets.

The track Atmospheric Environment Engineering prepares you to develop engineering solutions to transpose this city in a sustainable and healthy urban living environment. It will teach you to use the urban morphological complexity to mitigate air pollution and heat islands. You will study air quality, by measuring and modelling the local physical and chemical characteristics of the urban atmosphere. Weather extremes like intense rainfall and heat waves are more prominent in urban areas, and thus, call for better engineering solutions to mitigate the adverse effects of human activities. An example is the use of vegetation on urban roofs in order to mitigate the effects of extreme rainfall or heat. 

Key features

➨ Study the principles of physics and chemistry in the context of urban atmospheric environment, within its inherent multiscale nature.
➨ Probe the urban atmosphere using state-of-the-art observational techniques.
➨ Apply monitoring tools and atmospheric models in order to assess, predict, and control air and noise pollution and to mitigate effects of urban weather extremes.
➨ Design novel, multidisciplinary engineering solutions for future challenges affecting the urban atmospheric environment.

Research examples

Globally mapping air pollution

Satellites are the best available instruments to detect man-made pollution worldwide. Now they can also reveal how government measures to combat the spread of the corona virus are changing our air quality. Pieternel Levelt helped to chart harmful pollutants in revealing detail.

Water in the sky

Water is of vital importance for human survival. Human activity influences the way water moves around the earth, but the complexity of the system is such that it is hard to tell how far-reaching its effects really are. Researcher Lan Wang-Erlandsson is nonetheless working hard to chart the earth’s water cycle with more precision.