MY WORK Richenda and I fixing some meteorological sensors to a fully extended 22m tower at the University of Birmingham

Site Specific Forecasting Scientist

Since the 1st August 2001 I've been working for the Met Office in Bracknell in their Local Forecasting, Research and Development group. The work involves the creation of climatological information for locations around the UK and beyond where little or no reliable observational data exists. Two techniques are being developed based around an interpolation technique using observational data from nearby stations, and another technique using modelled data. I'm also involved in another project modelling the formation of ice on objects and was fortunate enough to attend the IWAIS workshop in Brno, Czech Republic in June 2002. Most of my work is either UNIX or Windows NT based and I am now proficient at programming in FORTRAN 95, PV Wave and UNIX scripting.

Following relocation to Exeter during October 2003 I joined the Climate Development team and now work on a broad-range of short-term consultancy projects. These projects cover the road and rail transport sectors, weather sensitivity analysis work for the NHS forecasting hospital admissions, work for central government and defence, along with work for utility companies (wind power and electricity generation and distribution).

Development of a Surface and Upper Air Synoptic Climatology to Assess Variations in Atmospheric Pollutant Concentrations in Birmingham

I've recently finished writing up my PhD which looked at the relationship between air pollutant concentrations and weather and am looking in particular at the situation here in Birmingham. I used several meteorological datasets ranging in coverage area from Europe down to just data for Birmingham and from heights ranging from the surface to 500 hPa. The research successfully related atmospheric motions at a number of different scales to local air quality in Birmingham using an automated synoptic climatological methodology. The statistical techniques used include principal components analysis, cluster analysis and discriminant analysis. I received finding from the School of Geography and Environmental Sciences and Birmingham City Council.

Cost-Effectiveness of the Winter Road Maintenance of England's Trunk Road Network

A Birmingham City Council gritter in Selly Oak, May 2001Between February 1999 and July 2000 I worked as a Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham on a contract funded by the Highways Agency studying the 'Value for Money in Winter Road Maintenance' and involved a cost / benefit analysis of the performance of the  20 Super Agents and 9 DBFO (Design, Build, Finance and Operate) organisations who currently maintain the Trunk Roads and Motorways in England.

I developed a Winter Maintenance GIS system linked dynamically to a database storing relevant information. The system allows the Highways Agency to update information for a particular Area by filling in forms in the database. This then automatically updated the information shown in the GIS system. The system also and the costs of winter maintenance per km will be related to a 'winter index' on an annual basis.  The research is carried out in conjunction with the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL).

Review and Assessment of Air Quality in the West Midlands of the UK

Pollution from a car exhaustBetween October 1998 and early February 1999 I worked as a Scientific Officer for Birmingham City Council and Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council on a Local Air Quality Management project funded by the Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions. The project pinpointed major point (i.e. factories) and line (i.e. traffic and rail) sources of pollution in the West Midlands. Emissions data from a wide range of sources was also gathered and will be input into the Airviro Air Quality Dispersion Modelling System developed by the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute. Modelling during the next stage of the work will allow areas of high concentrations of particular pollutants of concern to be pinpointed. The model can also be validated by comparison of modelled data with monitored data at the ten automatic air quality stations spread across the region. Areas of the West Midlands with air quality concentrations expected to exceed the National Air Quality Standard levels between now and the year 2005 will then be designated Air Quality Management Areas (AQMA's). In these areas action will be taken to reduce emissions and levels of air pollution.

The important findings from the early part of the research have recently been published in the following report which is now available on the internet. Click here for the First Phase Air Quality Review and Assessment.


Some links that I've found useful:

Larry Kalkstein's Synoptic Climatology lab
DoE National Air Quality Information Archive