November 2016
Message 107

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[Met-jobs] PhD: Air Quality in the UK: The Impact of Boundary Layer Meteorology

From "Claire Reeves (ENV)" <>
To "" <>
Date Thu, 24 Nov 2016 12:15:21 +0000



I have a funded PhD project available on “Air Quality in the UK: The Impact of Boundary Layer Meteorology”.


It is through the EnvEast Doctoral Training Partnership and is based at the University of East Anglia (UEA) in partnership with the DEFRA National Air Quality Team.


It will suit someone with a strong interest in meteorology and its impact on air quality.  The applicant needs a background in maths, chemistry, physics, computing or environmental science and should enjoy computer programming.


Deadline for applications is January 8th 2017.


For details see below or attached.





Prof. Claire E. Reeves,
Centre for Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences,

School of Environmental Sciences,
University of East Anglia, Norwich Research Park, Norwich, NR4 7TJ.

Tel: 01603 593625




Air Quality in the UK: The Impact of Boundary Layer Meteorology



According to recent government data, air pollution is linked to 40,000-50,000 premature deaths each year in the UK. Whilst, there is no doubt that the underlying cause is emissions of pollutants, air quality on any given day is mostly determined by meteorology. This impacts how quickly pollutants are transported away from the surface or mixed down from aloft. Regional chemistry transport models are used to forecast air quality and to assess the impact of emission controls.  Their accuracy is largely dependent on how well they simulate the meteorology of the lower part of the atmosphere (boundary layer).  Uncertainties in the boundary layer dynamics lead to large errors in modelled air quality.



To assess the impact of uncertainties in modelled boundary layer dynamics on air quality predictions.



The student will use a state-of-the-art weather forecast model coupled with chemistry (WRF-Chem) to examine air quality in the UK. They will test different model boundary layer schemes and evaluate them against meteorological and pollutant concentration data.  Most of these data will come from the UK-Air database ( supported by DEFRA, the CASE partner. The student will work with the DEFRA National Air Quality Team, in particular with their data analyst, analyzing the data to develop an understanding of surface air quality patterns in the UK. For case studies the student will also assess vertical lidar data from the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS).



The student will receive training in use of numerical weather prediction/chemistry models and analysis of model and measured data. This will provide them with many transferable skills related to computer programming and modelling; data handling, analysis and visualization; model and measurement uncertainties; and problem solving. They will go on a WRF training course and courses run by NCAS (e.g. Introduction to Atmospheric Science; Introduction to Computational Atmospheric Science; Summer School in Atmospheric Measurements). By working with DEFRA, the student will learn about UK air quality policy and its implementation.


Person Specifications

Background in maths, chemistry, physics, computing or environmental science. Interest in meteorology and air quality, and enjoyment of computer programming.


Project Supervisors

Profs. Claire Reeves and Ian Renfrew (University of East Anglia)

Dr. Lucy Barnard (DEFRA)


This project has been shortlisted for funding by the EnvEast NERC Doctoral Training Partnership, comprising the Universities of East Anglia, Essex and Kent, with twenty other research partners.

Successful candidates who meet RCUK’s eligibility criteria will be awarded a NERC studentship. In most cases, UK and EU nationals who have been resident in the UK for 3 years are eligible for a full award. In 2016/17, the stipend was £14,296



Shortlisted applicants will be invited to interview.  Interviews will take place on 14th and 15th February 2017.


Further Information and Applications

For further information on EnvEast and how to apply, please visit

For further details about the project, please contact Prof. Claire Reeves (








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JPEG image

Attachment: Air Quality Studentship EnvEast-UEA-DEFRA.pdf
Description: Air Quality Studentship EnvEast-UEA-DEFRA.pdf

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