Choosing a course is one of the most important decisions you'll ever make! View our courses and see what our students and lecturers have to say about the courses you are interested in at the links below.
Each year more than 4,000 choose NUI Galway as their University of choice. Find out what life at NUI Galway is all about here.
About NUI Galway
About NUI Galway
Since 1845, NUI Galway has been sharing the highest quality teaching and research with Ireland and the world. Find out what makes our University so special – from our distinguished history to the latest news and campus developments.
Colleges & Schools
Colleges & Schools
NUI Galway has earned international recognition as a research-led university with a commitment to top quality teaching across a range of key areas of expertise.
- Research & Innovation
- Business & Industry
- Alumni, Friends & Supporters
At NUI Galway, we believe that the best learning takes place when you apply what you learn in a real world context. That's why many of our courses include work placements or community projects.
Atmospheric & Environmental Physics Research Cluster
Research Opportunities in the Atmospheric & Environmental Physics Cluster
Investigating physical and chemical properties of aerosols and gaseous species in the marine coastal environment and their ultimate role in climate change.
Characterizing Strong Oxidants in the Atmosphere: The Self-Cleaning Power of the Atmosphere and its Limitations
Identification and Treatment Options for Waste Streams of Certain Bromine Containing Flame Retardants (WAFER)
Characterization of an indoor air quality model for accurate assessment of exposure to particulate air pollution
Evaluating the health benefits of energy efficient retrofits in the residential sector
Project Description: In recent years there has been much emphasis on improving the energy performance of European buildings, this sector accounts for 40% of the total EU energy usage and is the main focus of the Energy Performance Buildings Directive (EPBD, 2002/91/EC; 2010/31/EU).
Energy efficient measures have some obvious direct health benefits such as increasing indoor temperatures and occupant comfort , however it is not clear how increased building air tightness will impact on levels of indoor air pollutants, such as particulate matter. In most developed countries the population is known to spend upward of 80% of their time within indoor environments as a result exposure indoors likely to play a significant role in human health.
The impacts of increasing the energy efficiency of buildings are largely positive; along with reducing energy use, helping to meet National and EU Energy targets, the building retrofit should improve indoor temperature, and reduce moisture, which in turn may improve mental and respiratory health of residents. However there are some concerns that increasing building air tightness may have a negative effect on indoor air quality (IAQ), which in turn could affect health. Drawing on the results from another EPA sponsored project on IAQ in energy efficient homes, this project proposes to evaluate the health benefits of energy efficient retrofits.
Aerosol-Cloud Interactions in Marine and Continental Air
Project Description: NUIG/CCAPS, at Mace Head, possess the most fruitful database of continuous measurements of aerosol physics, chemistry, hygroscopicity, scattering and activation into cloud condensation nuclei. In addition, there exists a temporally-parallel data base of cloud properties which is to be combined with the aerosol properties to develop an aerosol-cloud-interaction parameterisation.
Key Words: remote sensing; cloud microphysics; aerosol; RADAR; LIDAR.
Ground Based Remote Sensing of Cloud Microphysics
Project Description: NUIG/CCAPS, at Mace Head, deploy a CLOUDNET suite of ground-based meteorological, aerosol and cloud remote sensors (microwave humidity/temperature, aerosol LIDAR, and cloud RADAR profilers) and, combining these sensors in a synergetic manner, have been at the forefront of development of cloud microphysical parameters relevant to aerosol-cloud-climate interactions. This PhD involves further development of the retrievals to multiple clouds types and will contribute to reducing the uncertainty in aerosol-cloud-climate interactions.
Key Words: remote sensing; cloud microphysics; RADAR; LIDAR.
Air Quality-Cloud-Climate Interactions
Project Description: Air pollution has a direct impact on climate by producing regional haze layers and clouds which scatter and reflect incoming solar radiation. Global diming observed worldwide since the middle of last century turning into global brightening exacerbating global warming. A combined analysis of the air quality trends with those of global radiation across EMEP and IMPROVE networks will highlight future climate changes due to aerosol effects.
Key Words: Air quality, global radiation, cloud, climate forcing.
Evolution of primary organic matter – from source to sink
Project Description: Primary marine organic matter is a unique atmospheric constituent affecting aerosol physico-chemical properties, cloud condensation nuclei and cloud formation in marine atmosphere. Tightly related to biological activity at the ocean surface, primary organic matter in sea spray undergo chemical evolution in the atmosphere affecting its volatility, hygroscopicity and oxidation state. NUIG/CCAPS, at Mace Head, developed a simulated system to study transformation and evolution of primary marine organic matter produced at the lowest trophic level.
Key Words: remote sensing; cloud microphysics; aerosol; RADAR; LIDAR.
North Atlantic Regional Air Quality in Marine and Continental Air
Project Description: North-East Atlantic region is a unique natural laboratory for exploring air quality on a regional as well as hemispheric scale. NUIG/CCAPS, at Mace Head, possess the most fruitful database of continuous measurements of air quality. Langrangian approach to air pollution network data and the use of isotopic methods offer unparalleled tools for establishing sources and sinks of particulate air pollution and the trans-boundary pollution budget.
Key Words: Regional Air Quality, trans-boundary air pollution.
Parameterization of Indirect Aerosol Effect
Project Description: This project would aim at parameterising the CCN activation efficiency as a function of particle hygroscopicity, composition and size, deploying the long term concurrent measurements of aerosol chemical and physical properties, such as size segregated chemical composition, particle size distribution, hygroscopisity and particle activation to cloud condensation nucleus (CCN). Existing data sets would be used along with the new measurements.
Key Words: Aerosol Mass Spectrometry; CCN activation; aerosol hygroscopic growth.
The role of Primary Marine Organics on Climate Effects
Project Description: Long term high time resolution aerosol chemical composition measurements at Mace Head capacitate a development of an advanced primary marine organic – chlorophyll parameterization for deployment in the sea spray source function, used for the climate modelling. The project would aim at identifying and quantifying the primary marine organics by combining the ambient marine aerosol measurements obtained by Aerosol Mass Spectrometry (AMS) and source apportionment techniques with laboratory experiments, which then would be used for the development of the parameterization.
Key Words: Aerosol Mass Spectrometry; marine organics; sea spray aerosol.
Characterising trans-boundary air pollution
Project Description: NUIG/CCAPS will deploy the state of the art Weather Research and Forecasting model with coupled Chemistry (WRF-Chem) in conjunction with extensive in-situ measurements from its Global Atmosphere Watch monitoring station to quantify the effect of trans-boundary air pollution for a range of key air quality indicators at both a national and regional level and how this may change under future emission scenarios.
Key Words: air quality, modelling, trans-boundary, climate change
Quantification of the atmospheric effects of SO2 and ash emissions from volcanic eruptions
Project Description: NUIG/CCAPS will deploy the state of the art Weather Research and Forecasting model with coupled Chemistry (WRF-Chem) for modelling of the emission, transport, dispersion, aggregation, chemical processing and loss mechanisms of SO2 and ash from volcanic eruptions. The model will be validated with satellite retrieval data and ground based in-situ measurements and operational forecast capabilities will be developed.
Key Words: Volcano, SO2, modelling, ash emissions
The impact of waves and oil on upper ocean turbulence
Project Description: Investigation of physical processes responsible for the spreading of oil products in ice free and ice covered waters will help to develop technology for the remediation of Arctic environment and reduction of environmental risks in the Arctic associated with oil contamination.
Surface waves propagating from clean waters into areas covered by a flexible surface cover, e.g. an oil slick or sea ice, will become (a) heavily damped due to frictional forces. The air-sea momentum fluxes that force the oceanic mean flows (b) depend on the waves and hence these will also be affected by the surface cover. In the wave damping process the waves exert a stress on the surface cover, hence (c) inducing mean flows that bring about changes in the surface cover properties, which will in turn impact on (a) the wave damping. Very few studies have considered the full coupling between the waves, the momentum fluxes, and the mean flow, and experimental evidence to validate components of such theories is lacking.
The primary aims of the proposed project are to determine:
- how different surface covers will damp waves,
- how these surface covers impact on the air-sea fluxes,
- how much of the lost wave momentum will lead to increased mean flow,
- how the near surface turbulence and effective viscosity are affected by the covers.
Role of air-sea heat exchange on sea ice
Project Description: Present area, thickness and mobility of the Arctic ice cover is a manifestation of climate change with huge implications for ocean circulation, global weather, economics and governance. The seasonal sea ice cycle drives large variations in the transport of heat, buoyancy, and the compounds that fuel the biogeochemical cycles. The role of ocean, either directly or through feedback mechanisms, is under debate.
Estimates of oceanic heat fluxes are dwarfed by large uncertainties, mainly due to lack of observations of sufficient quality. It is, however, beyond doubt that the circulation patterns of the Atlantic Water layer in the Arctic Ocean and the presence of a cold halocline layer “protecting” the ice cover are sensitive to diapycnal mixing rates in the ocean. Identifying principal mechanisms for ocean heat transport processes and quantifying their contribution are crucial for the Arctic heat budget as well as global scale weather and climate. NICE will contribute in better constraining climate models and reducing the errorbars on ocean heat fluxes. It is not the aim of NICE to produce new parameterizations for climate models – a task for a larger coordinated project – however, the knowledge gained and data collected will pave the way for observationbased parameterizations.