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Department of Chemical Engineering and Biotechnology

Open seneca project team at the awards ceremony

Open-Seneca, a citizen science air pollution project led by a team of students from our Centre for Doctoral Training in Sensor Technologies for a Healthy and Sustainable Future, was a winner in the collaboration category of the annual Vice-Chancellor's Research Impact and Engagement Awards last night. 

The project aims to create a global, mobile, low-cost air pollution sensor network, driven by citizen science, and looks to empower citizens with air pollution data to raise awareness, initiate behaviour change, and inform policy makers on environmental issues. This year the project team worked with policymakers in Buenos Aires and Nairobi, taking their low-cost air pollution sensors to citizen science volunteers. The team, Christoph Franck, Charles Christensen, Lorena Gordillo Dagallier, Sebastian Horstmann, Raphaël Jacquat and Peter Pihlman Pedersen, worked with local makerspaces and policy networks to raise awareness of pollution issues in the two cities. 

The Vice-Chancellor’s Research Impact and Engagement Awards were established to recognise and reward outstanding achievement, innovation and creativity in devising and implementing ambitious engagement and impact plans that have the potential to create significant economic, social and cultural impact from and engagement with and for research. Each winner receives a £1,000 grant to be used for the development and delivery of engagement/impact activity or relevant training.

Professor Stephen Toope, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, says: “This year’s nominations recognise impressive and inspirational individuals, and strongly reflect our mission to engage the public, tackle real-world problems and improve people’s lives. The award scheme focuses attention on the increasingly important role that institutions such as ours have to play in restoring faith in experts.”


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