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Research projects

Take a look through the current and complete projects we are working on here in the Centre.

Research projects

RECLAIM: Reclaiming Forgotten Cities - Turning cities from vulnerable spaces to healthy places for people

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Funded by the UKRI (EPSRC, NERC, AHRC), RECLAIM is a Network Plus grant. It aims to create a multi-disciplinary and cross-sectoral network to maximise the social, ecological, urban, and economic positive impacts of nature-based solutions (NBS) and green-blue-grey-infrastructure (GBGI), including mitigation of hydro-meteorological hazards, enhancing ecosystem services and how NBS can contribute to ambitious net-zero targets.

  • Duration: February 2022 – February 2024
  • Total value: £1.2M
  • Lead PI: Professor Prashant Kumar (University of Surrey)
  • Co-PI: Professor Laurence Jones (UK Centre for Ecology and Hydrology)
  • Co-I's: Dr Thomas Kjeldsen (University of Bath), Dr Nerea Calvillo Gonzalez (University of Warwick), Dr Shelagh Malham (Bangor University).

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CO-TRACE: Covid-19 transmission risk assessment case studies - education establishments

UKRI Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) logo

Funded by the EPSRC under the Covid-19 call, CO-TRACE aims to quantify the risk of airborne Covid-19 transmission in schools and evaluate the effectiveness of mitigation measures, by developing techniques to assess the absolute risk of infection in a given indoor space, using field studies in primary and secondary schools, complemented by laboratory experiments and CFD to elucidate the flow patterns responsible for airborne transport.

  • Duration: February 2021 – August 2022
  • Total value: £988,056
  • Co-I and Surrey PI: Professor Prashant Kumar (University of Surrey)
  • Lead PI: Professor Paul Linden (University of Cambridge)
  • Co-I's: Professor Chris Pain (Imperial College London), Dr Henry Burridge (Imperial College London).

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'COVAIR': Is SARS-CoV-2 airborne and does it interact with particle pollutants?

UKRI Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) logo

Funded by the EPSRC under the Covid-19 call, COVAIR wish to develop diagnostic tools and predictive sensing to detect SARS-CoV2 in crowded urban environments in order to address whether the airborne amounts are high enough to cause a respiratory infection and whether pollution particles can carry live virus that is directly inhaled into the lungs. We will determine whether SARS-CoV2 can be detected as an active virus in the air of hospitals with Covid-19 patients, and if so, use a similar technique to measure the virus in crowded spaces such as in underground train platforms, central station concourse, shopping malls and busy roadside.

  • Duration: January 2021 – December 2021
  • Total value: £582,000
  • Co-I and Surrey PI: Professor Prashant Kumar (University of Surrey)
  • Lead PI: Professor Fan Chung (Imperial College London, ICL)
  • Co-I's: Professor Chris Pain (ICL), Professor Alex Porter (ICL), Professor Ian Adcock (ICL), Dr Pankaj K Bhavsar (ICL)
  • Project manager: Claire Dilliway (ICL).

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CLASS: Co-designing solutions for sustainable classrooms

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Funded by the Institute of Sustainability’s Seed Corn Research Grant, the project extends the work of Guildford Living Lab by finding the optimum solution for ventilation-pollution nexus for improving classroom air quality whilst reducing the energy consumption.

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Lambeth schools air quality project

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Funded by the GSST Charity, our GCARE team is working with Global Action Plan and the engineering company, Arup, to improve the air quality for children and teachers at five London schools in the Lambeth area. The project will build an understanding of the unique factors affecting air pollution in and around the Lambeth schools and will design and implement tailored solutions to meet those challenges.

  • Duration: October 2020 - October 2021
  • Total value: £103,000
  • PIs: Professor Prashant Kumar (University of Surrey), Global Action Plan, Arup.

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Knowledge transfer and practical application of research on indoor air quality (KTP-IAQ)

UKRI Engineering and Physical Science Research Council (EPSRC) and Global Challenges Research Fund (GCRF) logos

Funded by the EPSRC/Surrey, KTP-IAQ is a project with the 12 official development assistance (ODA) countries. It aims to build a knowledge exchange platform across ODA countries in the area of improving indoor air quality, exploiting knowledge and implementing findings in order to ensure positive impact on the health and wellbeing of the people.

  • Duration: September 2021 – March 2022
  • Total value: £20,000
  • PI: Professor Prashant Kumar (University of Surrey) with co-investigator partners from 12 ODA countries.

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Mobile and interactive HedgeDATE for public engagement on air pollution exposure mitigation

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Funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund (Research England), this project aims to transform the HedgeDATE (Hedge Design for Abatement of Traffic Emissions) prototype into a high-quality, accessible and interactive tool, optimised for mobile, tablet, and other formats. The focus of this project is to optimise HedgeDATE for public engagement on air quality and how plants and greenspaces can be managed to reduce pollution exposure. This development milestone will support succeeding progress towards a commercial tool for green infrastructure professionals.

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GLL-ZCG: Participatory pilot project for the real-time display of air pollution (RealAir)

UKRI Research England logo

Funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund (Research England), the RealAir project aims to create evidence via local pilot case studies through the principles of ‘working locally to impact globally’. GCARE is collaborating with the ZERO Carbon Guildford to design, set up and operationalise a real-time air quality monitoring system to monitor particulate matter in different size fractions using affordable sensing technology.

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How building heats and trees cool our cities (Heat-Cool)

RSA logo

Funded by the RSA under the Climate Change and Risk Education grants, the Heat-Cool project aims to develop children’s awareness by educating them of the adverse impact of local heat sources, climate change and urban heat island impacts on their environment and subsequently health, and the importance of control measures such as GI to cool down their environments.

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Pollution sensing via electric charging system

Surrey Research Park logo

Funded through Coll21 with an industrial partner, this project assessed the technical feasibility of integrating an air pollution sensor in the available space within the MOLE autonomous electric vehicle charging product. The GCARE team selected a suitable sensor, proposed the preliminary design sketch and sensor support, and integrated it into the available concept with the help of the MOLE design team after considering all the constraints.

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SCAN: Street-scale greening for cooling and clean air in cities

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Funded by the UGPN Research Collaboration Fund (2020, the aims of this project include developing a new framework for street-scale greening that is generic, inclusive of pollution-cooling trade-offs, evidence-based, and practicable.

  • PI: Professor Prashant Kumar (University of Surrey)
  • Co-PI: Professor Pascal Perez (UOW)
  • Co-I's: Professor Lidia Morawska (University of Surrey), Professor Clare Murphy (Paton-Walsh) (UOW), Dr Hugh Forehead (UOW), Professor Kris French (UOW).

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INHALE: Health assessment across biological length scales for personal pollution exposure and its mitigation

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EPSRC Funded project with Imperial College London and University of Edinburgh.

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CArE-Homes: Clean air engineering for homes

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Funded by Research England under the GCRF.

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CArE-Cities: Clean air engineering for cities

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Funded by Research England under the GCRF.

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ASAP-Delhi: An integrated study of air pollutant sources in the Delhi National Capital Region

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UK-India NERC funded project with:

  • IIT Delhi (Professor Mukesh Khare)
  • NPL India (Dr Chhemendra Sharma)
  • University of Birmingham (Professor William Bloss, Professor Roy Harrison, Dr Zongbo Shi)
  • Surrey PI: Professor Prashant Kumar
  • Duration: 2016 - 2020.

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OPERANDUM: Open-air laboratories for nature based solutions to manage environmental risks

Horizon 2020 logo

Over €12 million awarded under the Horizon 2020 to OPERANDUM project that aims to reduce hydro-meteorological risks in European territories through co-designed, co-developed, deployed, tested and demonstrated innovative green and blue/grey/hybrid nature-based solutions and push business exploitation.

iSCAPE: Improving smart control of air pollution in European cities

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Nearly €6 million awarded under the Horizon 2020 to iSCAPE project that aims to integrate and advance the control of air quality and carbon emissions in European cities in the context of climate change through the development of sustainable and passive air pollution remediation strategies, policy interventions and behavioural change initiatives.

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HedgeDATE: Hedge design for the abatement of traffic emissions

HedgeDATE logo

The HedgeDATE project is funded by the University of Surrey’s Urban Living Award.

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Pollution Guardian

Innovate UK

Funded by Research and Innovation under the Innovate UK

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Pollution Guardian stage two

PG2

Funded by UK Research and Innovation under the Innovate UK to develop and test the prototype affordable kit for sensing real-time air quality exposure using low-cost sensors, mobile based app and cloud application.

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GlobalHOM

Globalhome logo

GlobalHOM is currently developing a disruptive innovation aiming to provide affordable, environmentally sustainable, flexible, modular housing with a built-in ‘Smart Home’ technological platform and associated hardware at the core of their design. It is worth noting that the approach GlobalHOM has taken to conceptualise and develop their offering is based on an end-user-centric approach, more akin to consumer product design than a construction industry approach whereby innovations typically focus on cost/time saving benefits for the construction industry stakeholders rather than the end-user.

  • Duration: February 2019 - January 2020
  • Funded by UK Research and Innovation under the Innovate UK
  • At Surrey: £98,966
  • Surrey Co-PI: Professor Prashant Kumar.

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Improving desk-based methods for enhancing urban air pollution mitigation by green infrastructure at different scales

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EPSRC PhD studentship awarded through the University of Surrey's University Research Scholarship (URS) scheme.

SENSORS: Metrology to exploit low-cost sensor networks for applications in air quality and energy management

EPSRC

SENSORS is funded by the EPSRC/NPL

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MAPE: Mitigation of air pollution exposure to young children

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EPSRC PhD studentship, with industrial collaborator: BRIZI Ltd

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NOTS: Novel high-resolution spatial mapping of health and climate emissions from urban transport in São Paulo megacity

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NOTS is funded by the FAPESP/University of Surrey.

  • Duration: 2018 - 2020
  • PI's: Professor Prashant Kumar, Pedro Jose Perez-Martinez, Professor Maria de Fátima Andrade, Professor Regina Maura de Miranda.

GREENMASS: Green infrastructure and health mapping alliance of Surrey academics

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The aim of the GREENMASS is to establish a cross-disciplinary university-wide alliance to understand linkages between ‘green infrastructure’ and ‘health mapping’ in urban areas.

  • Funded by the University of Surrey’s Urban Living Award
  • Project PI: Professor Prashant Kumar
  • Co-PI: Prof Simon de Lusignan
  • Co-I's: Prof Angela Druckman, Prof Derk-Jan Dijk, Dr Birgitta Gatersleben, Dr Anne C Skeldon, Dr Sarah Allison
  • ECRs: Arvind Tiwari, KV Abhijith, Ashish Sharma, Dr Sarkawat Hama, Dr Uy Hoang.

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ASTRID: Accessibility, social justice and transport emission impacts of transit-oriented development

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This project seeks to investigate the causal mechanisms underlying disparity and social injustice in job accessibility and air quality in metropolitan areas, and the potential of transit-oriented development to promote social justice.

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NEST-SEAS: Next-generation environmental sensing for local to global scale health impact assessment

UGPN logo

The aims of this project are to develop a nesting methodology for integration of local urban scale pollution data into global/regional scale models.

  • Duration: 2016 - 2017
  • UK PI (coordinator): Professor Prashant Kumar (University of Surrey)
  • Project PI's: Professor Clare Murphy (University of Wollongong), Professor Yang Zhang (NCSU) and Professor Maria de Fatima Andrade (Sao Paulo).

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EM4fME: Emission models for fugitive particulate matter towards an online emission inventory for the Middle East area

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The project aims to develop emission models for fugitive particulate matter for the Middle East region.

  • Duration: 2015 - 2018
  • UK PI: Professor Prashant Kumar (University of Surrey)
  • Project PI: Dr Konstantinos E. Kakosimos (Texas A&M University, Qatar).

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PEDALS: Particles and black carbon exposure to London and Sao Paulo bike-lane users

FAPESP logo
  • Duration: 2017 - 2019
  • FAPESP SPRINT funded
  • Project PIs: Professor Prashant Kumar (Surrey) and Professor Maria de Fatima Andrade (Sao Paulo).

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RETINA: Reducing the impact of health and climate emissions in megacity Cairo

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Through HEFCE under the Higher Education Innovation Funding (HEIF).

Smart Cities network for sustainable urban futures (SMARTIES Net)

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  • ESRC funded
  • Duration: 2016 - 2017
  • Surrey PI: Dr Devendra Saroj.

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Water - energy - nutrient nexus in the cities of the future

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  • EPSRC funded
  • Duration: 2017 - 2019
  • Surrey PI: Dr Devendra Saroj.

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Academic training grant on airborne nanoparticles

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Through Commonwealth Academic Fellowship to host Professor (and Head of Department) Suresh Jain from TERI University (India) at Surrey.

CAPTEN: Comparison of air pollution in transportation environments

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Development and demonstration based on selected UK and US cities.

eRAIN: Missions and role of fine aerosol particles in formation of clouds and precipitation

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A demonstration study for the megacity, São Paulo.

Experimental and numerical analysis of traffic emitted nanoparticle dispersion at urban traffic hotspots

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Characteristics of airborne nanoparticles during summertime in Kuwait

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BIOBURN: Towards the treatment of aerosol emissions from biomass burning in chemical transport models through a case study in the metropolitan area of São Paulo

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10 Santander staff and mobility awards

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10 Santander staff and mobility awards: Two with Tufts University; one with MIT, USA; three with Peking University; one with Tsinghua University; three with University of Sao Paulo.

Developing collaborative strategy for carrying out measurements, dispersion modelling and assessing heath impacts due to vehicle–induced airborne ultrafine particles and contributing to the development of wind tunnel capabilities in India

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UKIERI project from British Council with IIT Delhi, India.

UK-India Education and Research Initiative

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British Council, India; with IIT Roorkee and Delhi, India; Indian partner lead bid.

Experimental and computational analysis of the dispersion of nanoparticles in transport microenvironments

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Multi-scale evaluation of advanced technologies for capturing the CO2: Chemical looping applied to solid fuels

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Understanding dispersion of nanoparticles in vehicle wake combining fast response measurements and wind tunnel simulations

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Surrey green infrastructure research development for storm water and air quality

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Close up of a virus

Covid-19 research

We are drawing on our extensive experience in air quality to support the fight against Covid-19. In collaboration with partners around the world, we are part of the international effort making a case for the recognition of airborne transmission.