Xiaoming Cai

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Dr Xiaoming Cai
5.59 mins
I'm Xiaoming Cai. I'm one of the teaching staff of this course. I was a course
leader for two years. I'm currently teaching two modules that are in the
course. One is our atmospheric composition and the physics and the other is
air pollution meteorology.
This programme is special because it is the only course on air quality
management and control in the UK. It is also special in terms of combination
of meteorology, climatology and air quality management. It is special because
in the UK it still suffer from air quality issues. For example, over the last month
the Supreme Court of the UK has ordered the government to make an action
on the NO2 air quality standard because they are actually not meeting that
standard for many years. Also in developing countries air quality is an ongoing
issue, for example, in China, India, Middle East countries. They’ve noticed
that there are quite a lot of smog that is happening, ongoing, and increasing.
So this is a very special course for them.
The programme aim at those students who've got Bachelors degrees
equivalent to UK second class in some special areas, particularly advanced
sciences, advanced engineering, meteorology, climatology, mathematics,
physics and chemistry. We also would actually let the overseas applicants
know that English requirement is same as a University standard.
This programme entails in four aspects – we will actually try to summarise as
four. The first one is about processes in terms of what drives air quality going
bad. We’re talking of a physical processes and chemical processes. The
second aspect is about how these air pollutants coming out in terms of
sources, and how these pollutants affect people’s health, etc., in terms of
effects, so causes and effects of air pollutants. And the third one will be
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engineering solution in terms of limit the emissions from those sources
ranging from power stations and vehicles. And then the fourth one is about air
quality management and how actually we understand the legislative
framework that national government and the national level and the local
authorities take to control the air quality. Now how actually we deliver that, we
actually deliver it through various ways. Deliver it through lectures, through
workshops, through practicals, and also we have a visits – site visits, and then
we have these two sites for people to look at for practical reasons. And then
they will visit Birmingham City Council, Environmental Department and they
will also visit company called Veolia – a site to catch and convert waste to
energy. So that actually can be quite attractive to students.
Our graduates will look at their career plan, and then this programme will
actually change students to do – to be able to take some jobs like government
sectors, could be at national level or could be local authorities. The job they
can do, for example, they can be air quality advisor, they can be
environmental officers. And the second part is actually private sectors – they
can do their jobs as environmental consultant. And then the third direction for
our students, our graduates to go is to further advance the research, for
example, PhD studies. We train them into these directions. Of course they
need to know the principles, how things actually are operating, and they need
to know the policies and how these operate in these sort of managing level,
and then they need to have skills. And then we train them to look at research
methods, we train them to have some practicals to be done.
Now my teaching is actually I really enjoy some aspects – that interaction with
the students, because a class is not too big. We only have about sort of 10 to
15 students in the class, and the interaction becomes a very, very important
part of teaching. I enjoy that. I enjoy students answering questions. I enjoy
students actually raise their hands and then they answer, and they discuss
and argue with me – so that is really something that I enjoy. And the student’s
involvement is a very important part of our teaching in this programme. Also I
really, you know, have some favourite bits about because my background is
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meteorology and the numerical modelling. I actually really have some
favourite bits about how meteorology is playing a role in terms of controlling
air quality. So that actually is something that other environmental air quality
probably related courses didn’t have that sort of aspect – I enjoy that.