The Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI) has awarded $2 million to the Rapid Air Improvement Network (RAIN) project lead by Dr. Steven Rogak and Dr. Naomi Zimmerman. They are working with several co-investigators and colleagues in the Department of Mechanical Engineering including Dr. Amanda Giang, Dr. Patrick Kirchen and Dr. Adam Rysanek, as well as faculty from Chemistry, Geography, Medicine, and the School of Population and Public Health. The CFI Innovation Fund competition supports infrastructure costs to support the development of Canadian research and technology.
RAIN is an inter-disciplinary project that will look at air quality data from the angles of both health and climate in order to create workable solutions that can be implemented quickly and effectively. Using sensors, mobile monitoring, and instrumentation alongside UBC’s existing information on campus traffic, population, and operations, RAIN will measure air quality and provide recommendations for policy and technological solutions that can be quickly tested for effectiveness within the campus environment. Looking at the issue from multiple sides, RAIN brings together experts in health, chemistry, meteorology, engineering and environmental policy, as well as academic, government and industry partners.
While using the UBC campus as a testbed, the RAIN infrastructure will be designed for use beyond the university so it can be applied to measure air quality and effective intervention wherever needed. With wildfires around the world made more severe by climate change, and air pollution contributing to 9 million deaths per year, RAIN seeks to give policy makers the information they need to protect human health and the environment.