Prof Gordon McFiggans

Professor of Multiphase Procedures

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Professor of Atmospheric Science with broad interests in the influence of atmospheric pollution on health and climate. I have specific interests in the composition and properties of aerosol particles and their atmospheric fate and impacts.

Since 2018 I have been Head of Research in the Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences.



After undergraduate studies in Mechanical Engineering at the University of Sheffield followed by 7 years in industry, I studied for an MSc in Environmental Pollution Control at the University of Leeds and a PhD in Marine Boundary Layer Chemistry at the University of East Anglia.I came to UMIST on a NERC Fellowship in 2000 to conduct modelling of atmospheric aerosol and have built a group that conducts laboratory, field and modelling studies in Atmospheric Science over the last 20 years.

The majority of my funded research has been conducted through broad National or International collaborations, with current or very recent involvement in i) 16 NERC consortia (ACES, ACID-PRUF, Com-Part, HIP-Tox, RHaMBLe, UDARA, ACCACIA, ADIENT, AIRPOLL, AIRPRO, Ingenious, PROMOTE, RONOCO, SAMBBA and VOCALS; coordinating 1-6; 4, 6, 11 and 12 current); ii) two EU FP6 consortia (one Integrated Project (EUCAARI), one Strategically Targeted Project (MAP)) and the ACCENT Network of Excellence, and iii) the FP7 and Horizon 2020 EUROCHAMP Atmospheric Simulation Chamber Infrastructures consortia and current H2020 ATMO-ACCESS project to develop access to EU Atmospheric Research Infrastructures.

My current research is based on development of model and laboratory capability to complement existing field measurements. This is achieved through collaborative multi-disciplinary consortia, combining field, laboratory and modelling from Atmospheric Chemistry, Physics, Biology, Engineering, Experimental Medicine, Oceanography and Toxicology. Recent activities include: Com-Part chamber investigation into diesel particulates; the Aerosol Coupling in the Earth System (ACES) NERC field, chamber and modelling consortium; the ACID-PRUF and CCN-Vol laboratory and modelling Aerosol-Cloud Interaction consortia; the NERC SAMBBA biomass burning consortium and coordination of a Defra review into secondary particulates (leading Com-Part, ACID-PRUF & ACES); 4 Air Pollution and Human Health (APHH) consortia: AIRPRO and AIRPOLL in Beijing; PROMOTE in Delhi and UDARA in Indonesia (leading the last of these) and the current EUROCHAMP2020 and ATMO-ACCESS infrastructure projects. We run a photochemical smog chamber facility supported by these EU projects and central to two current NERC grants investigating Secondary Organic Aerosol (PEROXY and SOAPRA). My group have developed and used the WRF-Chem regional model in 6 projects and run continuously over the UK near-realtime ( We participate in two UKRI Clean Air Strategic Priority Fund Wave 2 consortia: Hazard Identification Platform to Assess the Health Impacts from Indoor and Outdoor Air Pollutant Exposures, through Mechanistic Toxicology which I lead and Ingenious: UnderstandING the sourcEs, traNsformations and fates of IndOor air pollUtantS, led from York. These two projects involve collaboration with toxicologists, social scientists and medics to investigate the mechanistic and epidemiological impacts of indoor and outdoor air pollutants on human health.


BEng Mechanical Engineering (Sheffield) 1987; MSc Environmental Pollution Control (Leeds) 1994; PhD Modelling Marine Boundary Layer Chemistry (UEA) 2000

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