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E3 Research Collaboration Receives EPA Funding to Investigate the Impact of Air Pollution from Diesel Vehicles in Ireland

January 2016

Trinity College Dublin launched its Engineering, Energy and Environment (E3) Institute Strategy in 2012 ( This initiative is embedded in the College’s strategic plan and will build novel cross-disciplinary research and teaching programmes. The E3 initiative aims to design, discover and guide optimal human and technology interventions which will improve the state of the world.

Under this initiative a new collaboration between the Department of Civil, Structural and Environmental Engineering and the Department of Geology has received funding (€249,000) from the Environmental Protection Agency, STRIVE Programme, to examine a key current environmental challenge: the impact of diesel vehicles on the exposure of the population to particulate air pollution in Ireland.

air pollutionAcross Europe, there has been a rapid growth in the number of private diesel passenger vehicles due to lower fuel prices and government incentives connected with reducing CO2 emissions and climate change. While modern diesel vehicles emit slightly less CO2 than their petrol counterparts, they also emit considerably larger amounts of pollutants such as particulate matter and NOx, which are damaging to human health. Thus there is a pressing need to assess the magnitude of the environmental challenge posed by diesel emissions of particulate matter and a need to develop solutions to protect the population against these.

In this novel study, the TCD team will use geochemical techniques to quantify the environmental impact of diesel vehicle particle emissions from an environmental engineering perspective, and develop emission and exposure models. The project team includes: Dr. Aonghus McNabola, Prof. Balz Kamber, Dr. Bidisha Ghosh, Dr. Francesco Pilla, Prof. Laurence Gill and Dr. Saniul Alam. For further information please contact either:

Dr. Aonghus McNabola
Dept of Civil, Structural & Environmental Engineering,
Trinity College Dublin,
Tel: +353 1 896 3837

Prof. Balz Kamber
Dept of Geology,
Trinity College Dublin,
Tel: +353 1 896 2957