Academic and research departmentsGlobal Centre for Clean Air Research.
My research project
Mitigation of Air Pollution Exposure to Young Children (MAPE)
The Mitigation of air pollution exposure to young children (MAPE) project aims to develop novel exposure control methods for in-pram babies by creating a 'clean air zone' around them. Through laboratory and field investigations for both regulated (e.g., PM2.5, PM10) and unregulated (ultrafine particles) pollutants, we aim to create a hitherto missing knowledge base for a low-energy, miniature, clean air system for removing gaseous pollutants and particles of varying size.
We investigate questions such as exposure variability in in-pram babies versus adult exposure, the efficiency of passive control mitigation technologies, and characterising outdoor roadside air pollutants in in-pram using indigenous filter testing setup to quantify the efficiency of various filtration systems for potential deployment in prams. Laboratory tests conducted include design and test nature-based filtration materials for identifying and recommending best filtration materials.
Finally, the project will present a holistic model that integrate technological solutions, community empowerment, and exposure-centric policies to help limit personal exposure of in-pram babies. The research will be directly applied by 'BRIZI Ltd' (industrial collaborator) and benefit to, e.g., policy makers, public, university, UK (and beyond) through reduced health cost.
The primary objective of this research project is to develop an integrated framework with technology solutions and supporting policy instruments for mitigating the exposure of young children to the harmful air emissions leading to poor health outcomes.
This project is funded by industrial partner BRIZI Ltd and EPSRC (UKRI) National Productivity Investment Fund (NPIF) Studentship and is one of the one of the several research projects of the GCARE which featured as Case Study from the University of Surrey’s Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences for Global Centre of Clean Air Research (GCARE).
Read more about the MAPE project.
Business, industry and community links
I am a civil and environmental engineer by professional training and my interests span across air pollution management, environmental sustainability, filtration, young children exposure assessment and entrepreneurship. I hold a bachelor’s degree in civil engineering from Zakir Hussain College of Engineering and Technology, Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) and two master’s degrees from Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology (GIST) South Korea and Macquarie University Australia.
At University of Surrey (UK), I started my PhD in September 2017 with a major in civil and environmental engineering and am currently engaged as a full time PhD researcher at Global Centre of Clean Air Research (GCARE).
Prior to joining the University of Surrey, I worked for 5 years as an environmental sustainability researcher with some of the most prestigious research groups overseas at GIST (South Korea), The University of Toledo (USA), Macquarie University (Australia), and IIT Delhi (India).
I have published several peer-reviewed journal articles and presented my research work internationally at international conferences, summits and seminars. An indicative listing of my international presentations include United States, Australia, United Kingdom, Egypt and Brazil. In 2017, I delivered a talk on “Sustainable Transportation” at one of the biggest Smart Cities Conference held at New Delhi and also delivered a talk "Quantification of air pollution exposure to in-pram babies and mitigation strategies" at Cambridge Particle Meeting 2019 hosted by the University of Cambridge Department of Engineering.
Apart from my engagements in engineering research projects, I am an enthusiast of Entrepreneurship, Management and Global Leadership programs. I am also a graduate of Global Leadership Programs at Macquarie University, Australia and the University of Toledo, USA.
Apart from my routine engagements as an air quality researcher, I am an enthusiastic blogger and write on trending topics at the nexus of technology, engineering, innovation, creativity and inclusive social transportation. In 2013, I was invited by Gwangju International Center, Gwangju, South Korea to give a talk on “Global Impact of Indian culture: Indian spirituality as an art of living”.
20 APR 2020
Guildford Living Lab publishes air pollution mitigation strategies for protecting young children
In the media
- Particulate matter
- Aerosols and airborne nanoparticles
- Indoor and outdoor air pollution
- Cities and megacities
- Smart cities
- Interfaces of air pollution
- Low cost sensing.
- Maths-1 (ENG1084)
- Module Leader: Dr. Dan Bompa, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, University of Surrey
- Teaching assistant, team building activities for Laboratories, design and professional studies level 2 (EEE2036)
- Module Leader: Dr. Jean-Yves Guillemant, Department of Electrical and Electronic Engineering, The University of Surrey.
- Engineering and Physical Sciences Laboratory and Project (ENG 0014A) (Foundation Year Lab)
- Module Leader: Dr. Alison Taylor, Department of Electrical and Electronics Engineering, University of Surrey
- Damped vibration lab
- Module Leader: Dr Marxen Olaf and Dr. Mary Hilditch, Department of Mechanical Engineering Science, University of Surrey
- Numerical and Experimental Methods(ENG 2093) Non-destructive testing (NDT) lab
- Module Leader: Dr Marxen Olaf and Dr. Mary Hilditch, Department of Mechanical Engineering Science, University of Surrey
- Surveying (ENG 2105) Lab
- Dr. Tony Thorne (Retired), Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, The University of Surrey.
This paper reports preliminary results of the DESPEC campaign at GSI, focused on the study of neutron-deficient nuclei approaching 100Sn. The results presented show the isomeric decays of excited states with Iπ = 14+ and 8+ in 96Pd and 94Pd, respectively. The detailed characterisation of the DESPEC set-up and analysis methodologies, proven in this experimental run, are crucial for the future campaigns.
We designed a novel experimental set-up to pseudo-simultaneous measure size-segregated filtration efficiency (ηF), breathing resistance (ηP) and potential usage time (tB) for 11 types of face protective equipment (FPE; four respirators; three medical; and four handmade) in the submicron range. As expected, the highest ηF was exhibited by respirators (97±3%), followed by medical (81±7%) and handmade (47±13%). Similarly, the breathing resistance was highest for respirators, followed by medical and handmade FPE. Combined analysis of efficiency and breathing resistance highlighted trade-offs, i.e. respirators showing the best overall performance across these two indicators, followed by medical and handmade FPE. This hierarchy was also confirmed by quality factor, which is a performance indicator of filters. Detailed assessment of size-segregated aerosols, combined with the scanning electron microscope imaging, revealed material characteristics such as pore density, fiber thickness, filter material and number of layers influence their performance. ηF and ηP showed an inverse exponential decay with time. Using their cross-over point, in combination with acceptable breathability, allowed to estimate tB as 3.2-9.5hours (respirators), 2.6-7.3hours (medical masks) and 4.0-8.8hours (handmade). While relatively longer tB of handmade FPE indicate breathing comfort, they are far less efficient in filtering virus-laden submicron aerosols compared with respirators. [Display omitted] •FFP3 respirators showed highest filtration efficiency and breathing resistance.•Multi-layered micro/nano-scale fibres of medical masks offer ηF comparable to respirators.•Highest quality factor was obtained for respirators while the lowest for handmade masks.•FFP3 showed maximum potential usage time and quality factor at acceptable breathability.•SEM images revealed dense aerosol layers deposited on facemasks with thinner fibres.
The COVID-19 pandemic elicited a global response to limit associated mortality, with social distancing and lockdowns being imposed. In India, human activities were restricted from late March 2020. This ‘anthropogenic emissions switch-off’ presented an opportunity to investigate impacts of COVID-19 mitigation measures on ambient air quality in five Indian cities (Chennai, Delhi, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Mumbai), using in-situ measurements from 2015 to 2020. For each year, we isolated, analysed and compared fine particulate matter (PM2.5) concentration data from 25 March to 11 May, to elucidate the effects of the lockdown. Like other global cities, we observed substantial reductions in PM2.5 concentrations, from 19 to 43% (Chennai), 41–53 % (Delhi), 26–54 % (Hyderabad), 24–36 % (Kolkata), and 10–39 % (Mumbai). Generally, cities with larger traffic volumes showed greater reductions. Aerosol loading decreased by 29 % (Chennai), 11 % (Delhi), 4% (Kolkata), and 1% (Mumbai) against 2019 data. Health and related economic impact assessments indicated 630 prevented premature deaths during lockdown across all five cities, valued at 0.69 billion USD. Improvements in air quality may be considered a temporary lockdown benefit as revitalising the economy could reverse this trend. Regulatory bodies must closely monitor air quality levels, which currently offer a baseline for future mitigation plans.
Cities are constantly evolving and so are the living conditions within and between them. Rapid urbanization and the ever-growing need for housing have turned large areas of many cities into concrete landscapes that lack greenery. Green infrastructure can support human health, provide socio-economic and environmental benefits, and bring color to an otherwise grey urban landscape. Sometimes, benefits come with downsides in relation to its impact on air quality and human health, requiring suitable data and guidelines to implement effective greening strategies. Air pollution and human health, as well as green infrastructure and human health, are often studied together. Linking green infrastructure with air quality and human health together is a unique aspect of this article. A holistic understanding of these links is key to enabling policymakers and urban planners to make informed decisions. By critically evaluating the link between green infrastructure and human health via air pollution mitigation, we also discuss if our existing understanding of such interventions is enabling their uptake in practice. Both the natural science and epidemiology approach the topic of green infrastructure and human health very differently. The pathways linking health benefits to pollution reduction by urban vegetation remain unclear and that the mode of green infrastructure deployment is critical to avoid unintended consequences. Strategic deployment of green infrastructure may reduce downwind pollution exposure. However, the development of bespoke design guidelines is vital to promote and optimize greening benefits and measuring green infrastructure’s socio-economic and health benefits are key for their uptake. Greening cities to mitigate pollution effects is on the rise and these needs to be matched by scientific evidence and appropriate guidelines. We conclude that urban vegetation can facilitate broad health benefits, but there is little empirical evidence linking these benefits to air pollution reduction by urban vegetation, and appreciable efforts are needed to establish the underlying policies, design and engineering guidelines governing its deployment.
During the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, some hotels have engaged in corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities to help overcome the crisis. Given that most existing research examines the impact of hotel CSR on a single stakeholder, how hotel CSR activities in a crisis are perceived by multiple stakeholders is unknown. Drawing on the concept of strategic philanthropy, this study examines the impact of hotel CSR activities during the pandemic, such as providing accommodations to healthcare workers, on hotel firms' market value and prospective hotel customers’ booking behavior. Adopting mixed-methods approach, this study finds negative impacts of hotel CSR for strategic philanthropy on firm market value and customer booking behavior. The study result indicates that the value of hotel CSR depends on the nature and environmental contexts of CSR. Specific theoretical and practical implications are provided.
Air pollution exposure to in-pram babies poses a serious threat to their early childhood development, necessitating a need for effective mitigation measures. We reviewed the scientific and grey literature on in-pram babies and their personal exposure to traffic generated air pollutants such as particulate matter ≤10 μm (PM10), ≤2.5 μm (PM2.5), ≤0.10 μm (ultrafine particles) in size, black carbon and nitrogen oxides and potential mitigation pathways. In-pram babies can be exposed up to ~60% higher average concentrations depending on the pollutant types compared with adults. The air within the first few meters above the road level is usually most polluted. Therefore, we classified various pram types based on criteria such as height, width and the seating capacity (single versus twin) and assessed the breathing heights of sitting babies in various pram types available in the market. This classification revealed the pram widths between 0.56 and 0.82 m and top handle heights up to ~1.25 m as opposed to breathing height between 0.55 and 0.85 m, suggesting that the concentration within the first meter above the road level is critical for exposure to in-pram babies. The assessment of flow features around the prams suggests that meteorological conditions (e.g., wind speed and direction) and traffic-produced turbulence affect the pollution dispersion around them. A survey of the physicochemical properties of particles from roadside environment demonstrated the dominance of toxic metals that have been shown to damage their frontal lobe as well as cognition and brain development when inhaled by in-pram babies. We then assessed a wide range of active and passive exposure mitigation strategies, including a passive control at the receptor such as the enhanced filtration around the breathing zone and protection of prams via covers. Technological solutions such as creating a clean air zone around the breathing area can provide instant solutions. However, a holistic approach involving a mix of innovative technological solutions, community empowerment and exposure-centric policies are needed to help limit personal exposure of in-pram babies.
- Sharma, A., & Strezov, V. (2017). Life cycle environmental and economic impact assessment of alternative transport fuels and power-train technologies. Energy.
- Sharma, A., & Chung, C. E. (2015). Climatic benefits of black carbon emission reduction when India adopts the US on-road emission level. Future Cities and Environment, 1(1), 13.
- Khan, I., Sharma, A. (2012). Nanotechnology for Sustainable Development: Reducing Carbon Emissions through Clean Energy Technologies. International Journal of Systems, Algorithms & Applications (IJSAA), 2(5).pp.29-32.
- Sharma, A., Islam, M., Khan, N.A. (2011). Role of Nanotechnology for Sustainable Development of Concrete. Int. Journal. of Technology And Engineering System (IJTES), 2(1).pp.16-21.
- Sharma, A., Khan, I. (2011). Low carbon Futures. Proceedings of the International Conference on Manufacturing Excellence, (2011), Noida, Uttar Pradesh, India.
- Sharma, A., Islam, S. (2010). Sustainable Sources of Energies: Promising alternatives to the conventional sources of energies. Proceedings of the International Conference on Emerging Technologies for Sustainable Environment, (2010b), Aligarh, Uttar Pradesh, India.
Articles in magazines
- Ganesan, K., Chozan, R.K., & Sharma, A. (2017). Benefits of ECBC Implementation in India: A Case Study of Karnataka. Shashwat, 3(3) pp. 39-42.
- Climatic benefits of black carbon emission reduction. Spring Conference: Hot Environmental Topics in Northwest Ohio, The Northern Ohio Chapter of The Air & Waste Management Association, The University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA, April 22, 2015 (Oral presentation).
- Applying life cycle approach for evaluating environmental impacts of carbon nano-tube photo-voltaic systems. Spring Conference: Hot Environmental Topics in Northwest Ohio, The Northern Ohio Chapter of The Air & Waste Management Association, The University of Toledo, Toledo, Ohio, USA, April 22, 2015 (Poster presentation).
For access to above listed publications, please visit my Google Scholar profile.