IMechE Award Winner

Congratulations to Professor Cath Noakes in the School of Civil Engineering who has been awarded the 2014 Construction and Building Services Division prize by the Institution of Mechanical Engineers.

This is an annual prize that is awarded to recognise contribution in execution, promotion and advancement of the art of engineering and science of building services and construction.

Professor Noakes leads a research group focusing on building ventilation design and indoor air quality, with a particular focus on engineering control of airborne infection in hospital environments. Her group use a combination of experimental and computational modelling approaches to explore fundamental questions around how infectious microorganisms are dispersed in buildings and to understand how ventilation design or air cleaning technologies can best be applied to reduce risks.

Airborne infection poses a major worldwide health problem; TB is one of the biggest global killers and there is increasing evidence that airborne dispersion of microorganisms contributes to hospital acquired infections, costing the NHS millions. “Tackling this challenge requires a cross-disciplinary approach, and it is the diverse and committed expertise within the team at Leeds and our great network of collaborators in other Universities, Industry and the Healthcare sector that allows us to understand the mechanisms and propose solutions” explains Professor Noakes. “This award reflects the achievements and hard work of many people, including academic colleagues, postdoctoral researchers and PhD students at Leeds, as well as many colleagues working in other organisations”

The prize was presented at the annual CIBSE ASHRAE Young Engineers Awards, held at IMechE headquarters on 9th October 2014. Professor Noakes delivered the IMechE Annual Lecture at this event, giving the audience of students, academics and engineering professionals a flavour of her research and some of the future challenges in research and design.