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University secures EU grant for SMART cities and aeronautical research

12th August 2016
Daisy Stapley-Bunten

The University of Surrey has been awarded more than three-quarters of a million euros in research grants from the European Union since the UK’s electorate voted to leave the 28-country union on 23rd June. Despite concerns that EU research partners and funders have become reluctant to collaborate with UK universities following the Brexit vote, the University of Surrey is open for business and its researchers continue to secure EU funding to tackle global challenges.

Professor Max Lu, President and Vice-Chancellor at the University of Surrey, commented: “The University of Surrey continues to secure research funding for projects that address global challenges. This is another example that we are committed to working with European countries as part of our international engagement strategy. These projects are significant initiatives tackling air pollution and improve the environment for future generations.”

Smart Control of Air Pollution in Europe (iSCAPE)
Dr Prashant Kumar, Reader at the University of Surrey, has been granted €627,000 as a UK-PI to contribute to iSCAPE project, which aims to develop next-generation environmental living labs in cities across Europe. The overall goal of the project will be to improve air quality by developing sustainable and passive air pollution remediation strategies, policy interventions and behavioural change initiatives. It will have a particular focus on low-cost pollution sensing and modelling, and will provide policy-makers with local test-cases, evidence and readymade solutions to improving air quality in their city.

Dr Prashant Kumar from the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering said: “I am delighted to be involved in this project which encapsulates the concept of ‘smart cities’ by promoting the use of low-cost sensors, engaging citizens in the use of alternative solution processes to environmental problems. iSCAPE will support sustainable urban development by sharing results with policy-makers and planners using local test-cases, providing scientific evidence and ready-to-use solutions to improve city life for citizens.”

The project worth €6m research grant will run from 1st September for 3 years until 2019 and concentrate on over half a dozen European cities, including Vantaa (Finland), Hasselt (Belgium), Bologna (Italy), and Guildford (UK).

Clean Sky 1 – the EU’s largest ever aeronautics research programme
The University of Surrey has also been awarded €135,000 to assess the socio-economic and environmental impact of Clean Sky 1, the EU’s largest ever aeronautics research programme.

Researchers in the Centre for Environmental Strategy and School of Hospitality and Tourism Management will collaborate to assess the programme’s progress so far and ability to meet the Advisory Council for Aeronautics Research in Europe’s 2020 objectives for emissions abatement, noise reduction, and lifecycle design.

With air travel demand predicted to double by 2034 , the importance of understanding and reducing the environmental and socio-economic consequences of air travel is becoming increasingly important. New aeroplane designs, components and operations, as well as engines, loads and flow control, configurations, mission management and lifecycle materials use and disposal will all be assessed as part of the project.

Dr Scott Cohen, Reader in Tourism Management at the University of Surrey’s School of Hospitality and Tourism Management, said: “The aeronautics industry is a significant sector within the European economy and a growing provider of mobility. This research programme will help to reduce emissions, maintain Europe as a world leader in aerospace and spur innovation.”

The project will run from August until the end of Feb 2017 and will be led by Dr Scott Cohen in conjunction with Dr Jaqi Lee.

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