press release
Published: 09 September 2020

Influential air quality specialist, Lidia Morawska, joins Surrey

The specialist who convinced the World Health Organisation (WHO) that Covid-19 could be transmitted through the air has joined the University of Surrey on a part-time basis to contribute to its air quality research.


Professor Lidia Morawska, who has been named a Vice-Chancellor's Fellow by Surrey, is also the Director of the International Laboratory of Air Quality and Health (ILAQH) at Queensland University of Technology in Australia. The ILAQH is a Collaborating Centre of WHO on research and training in the field of Air Quality and Health.

As an expert in particulate matter, Professor Morawska is co-chair of the highly influential group responsible for developing the WHO Air Quality Guidelines, a document used by governments across the world when setting their air-quality standards.

Earlier this year, Professor Morawska coordinated a letter from the world's top scientists warning of the ability of Covid-19 to be transmitted through the air – leading to a change in WHO guidance.

Professor Morawska will be working closely with Surrey's Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE), led by Professor Prashant Kumar, to boost its multidisciplinary research into the relationship between air pollution, climate change and human health. She will also help GCARE investigate ways to prevent the airborne transmission of Covid-19.

Professor G Q Max Lu, President and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Surrey, said:  "I am delighted to welcome Professor Lidia Morawska to be part of the Surrey community. She is a world-leading authority in air pollution and has been a close collaborator with Professor Prashant Kumar and his team.  Her experience and expertise will no doubt further strengthen the research excellence in this important field at the University of Surrey."

Professor David Sampson, Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Research and Innovation, said: "Professor Morawska joins a diverse group of internationally leading scholars forming our Vice-Chancellor's Fellows inaugural cohort. We look forward to welcoming her onto to campus, Covid-19 permitting, to experience the Surrey community of scholars first hand."

Professor Morawska said: "I am delighted and honoured to accept a Vice-Chancellor's Fellowship from an institution with a rich history of conducting innovative and impactful research. I look forward to working ever more closely with Surrey's GCARE to further our understanding of air quality and health – now and for the future."


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