Date(s) - 16/03/2021
12:00 pm - 1:30 pm
COVID-19: Science and evidence on environmental transmission and modelling
Hazards Forum webinar, hosted by the Institution of Civil Engineers
Professors Andrew Curran, Catherine Noakes OBE, and Harry Rutter will deliver this seminar. They are active participants in SAGE, the UK Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies, which provides advice to support government decision makers, and are the co-chairs of the SAGE Environmental Modelling Group. Professor Curran is the Chief Scientific Adviser and Director of Research at the Health and Safety Executive. He is now leading one of the six large (about £18M) National COVID‑19 Core Projects, which is being delivered by the ‘PROTECT’ Partnership for Research in Occupational, Transport, Environmental COVID Transmission between government, regulators and academia. Professor Noakes OBE is Professor of Environmental Engineering for Buildings at the University of Leeds. She specialises in airborne infections and the transport of airborne pathogens. She is leading the PROTECT research into ‘Approaches to evaluate environmental transmission mechanisms and controls’. Professor Rutter is Professor of Global Public Health at the University of Bath and academic adviser to Public Health England. He uses complex systems approaches to identify and implement solutions to difficult public health challenges and specialises in the use of evidence to inform policy.
Professor Curran will lead this seminar in which the speakers will discuss how science is helping to improve how we can understand the risks of virus transmission in workplaces and other settings. The seminar will include the evidence challenges being tackled through PROTECT, and how scientific evidence is being used to inform decision making by HSE policymakers and wider government. The seminar will include a ‘Q&A’ session.
See HSE’s COVID-19 science webpages for an overview of HSE science and research on COVID‑19. For news about HSE science follow Professor Curran on Twitter using @CSA_HSE or subscribe to the HSE science and research e-bulletin.
Professor Andrew Curran is the Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) and Director of Research at the Health and Safety Executive (HSE). During his 29 year career with HSE he has been a bench scientist, has led a number of teams, and has a significant publication record in the field of occupational health. He has responsibility for ensuring that HSE has access to the evidence it needs to underpin policy and regulatory decision making. He is also Head of Profession for HSE’s scientists, engineers and physicians, and sits on the Government’s GSE Professions Board, where he is also Deputy Head of the Profession under Sir Patrick Vallance. As a Government Chief Scientific Adviser he is part of the Government Chief Scientific Adviser’s CSA network. During the current pandemic he has been an active participant in SAGE, and is now leading one of six large (approximately £18M) National COVID-19 Core Projects. Andrew has oversight of HSE’s Scientific Advisory Committee on Workplace Health (WHEC), is the Chair of the Sheffield Group (the global network of national health and safety research organisations), a member of the Steering Group of PEROSH, the Partnership for European Research in Occupational Safety and Health, and supports HSE’s role as a Collaborating Centre in Occupational Safety and Health of the World Health Organisation. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Biology, and the Chartered Management Institute, and an Honorary Fellow of the UK Faculty of Occupational Medicine. Andrew is an Honorary Professor at two leading UK Universities, Sheffield and Manchester, where he co-Directs the Centre for Workplace Health and the Thomas Ashton Institute for Risk and Regulatory Research respectively.
Professor Catherine Noakes, OBE is Professor of Environmental Engineering for Buildings at the University of Leeds. She specialises in airborne infections and the transport of airborne pathogens. During the current pandemic she has been an active participant in SAGE. She is a chartered mechanical engineer, with a background in fluid dynamics and leads research into ventilation, indoor air quality and infection control in the built environment. She leads an internationally recognised group at the University of Leeds which carries out experimental and modelling based studies, in particular to explore the transport of airborne pathogens, the influence of indoor airflows and effectiveness of engineering approaches to controlling airborne disease transmission. She is a fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers (FIMechE), the Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estates Management (FIHEEM), and the International Society for Indoor Air Quality (ISAQ). She is Deputy Director of the Leeds Institute for Fluid Dynamics and Co-Director for the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Fluid Dynamics. She was: Director of the Pathogen Control Engineering (PACE) research institute 2010-2014; Director of Research and Innovation for the School of Civil Engineering 2014-2020; Faculty of Engineering Athena Swan Lead 2014-2017; chair of the University Women at Leeds network 2013-2017 and is a member of the University Gender Oversight group supporting gender equality actions at an institution level. She has been awarded the University of Leeds Women of Achievement Award (2016) and the IMechE Construction and Building Services Division Prize (2014).
For a full list of current and completed research projects see Professor Noakes’ details on the University of Leeds website.
Professor Harry Rutter is Professor of Global Public Health at the University of Bath. He has a long track record of local, regional, national and international work on environment and health. He uses complex systems approaches to identify and implement solutions to difficult public health challenges. He is an academic adviser to Public Health England, and holds adjunct positions at University College Cork and the University of Agder in Norway. During the current pandemic he has been an active participant in SAGE. His specialities include: public health, systems thinking, complexity, the use of evidence to inform policy, obesity, non-communicable diseases, chronic disease, epidemiology, health surveillance, health impact assessment, and economic appraisal especially the relations between active travel, physical activity, public health, built environment, and sustainability. He leads work for The Health Foundation on new approaches to public health evidence and is co-Principle Investigator of the large (about £8M) ‘Confronting obesity’ Horizon 2020 project. He was founder director of the National Obesity Observatory 2007-2011; led the establishment of the Department of Health National Child Measurement Programme; and is a core contributor to the World Health Organisation (WHO) Health Economic Assessment Tool (HEAT) for Walking and Cycling. Current activities include: Chair of the scientific advisory board for the Irish Health Research Board (HRB) Centre for Health and Diet Research; member of the National Institutes for Health Research (NIHR) Public Health Research Prioritisation Committee; member of the steering group for the WHO Health Economic Appraisal Tool for walking and cycling; member of the steering group for the WHO Europe Child Obesity Surveillance Initiative, and member of the advisory group for the WHO Environmental Health Economics Network.