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School of Physical and Chemical Sciences

Air pollution predictions towards healthier cities with the SAPIENS project

Research Group: Particle Physics Research Centre
Number of Students: 1
Length of Study in Years: 3 Years
Full-time Project: yes


PhD Research Studentship Details

  • Available to Home and international applicants.
  • Applicant required to start in September 2023.
  • The studentship arrangement will cover home tuition fees and provide an annual stipend for up to three years (Currently set for 2022/23 as £19,688).
  • International students note that this studentship only covers home tuition fees and students will need to cover the difference in fees between the home and overseas basic rate from external sources. 

Project Description

Air pollution is a chronic problem in cities world-wide and vehicular traffic is a major contributor to poor air quality. In some cities, the publicly-available air quality measurements are coarse-grained in space and time. However real-time traffic intensity data is openly available. With the support of QMUL and IPN (Istituto Politecnico National, Mexico City), Bona and collaborators have founded the SAPIENS project to analyse the relationships between traffic and air quality. A first analysis has been developed on pollution measurements and traffic intensities from Mexico City. This PhD project will integrate and develop further this initial idea.

Firstly, this idea can be tested and calibrated by the use of more granular data and models from the Alan Turing Institute in London, where Bona has developed connections as Turing Fellow. Then, the database and the analysis can be integrated with additional information on winds and urban characterisation. In parallel, machine learning algorithms will be employed to improve the prediction power. Finally we will make the predictions available via a mobile and web application. In particular we aim to integrate air quality prediction with multi criterion routing software, to provide route recommendations considering air pollution exposure, travel time, and cost.

Supervisor Contact Details:

For informal enquiries about this position, please contact Marcella Bone at

Deadline - 31st of January 2023

Application Method:

To apply for this studentship please select September entry in the following page:




The minimum requirement for this studentship opportunity is a good Honours degree (minimum 2(i) honours or equivalent) or MSc/MRes in a relevant discipline.

If English is not your first language you will require a valid English certificate equivalent to IELTS 6.5+ overall with a minimum score of 6.0 in Writing and 5.5 in all sections (Reading, Listening, Speaking).

SPCS Academics: Dr Marcella Bona