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Welcome to the December 2010 edition of the Aerosol Society’s occasional newsletter. We hope that you enjoy reading the articles, catching up on members’ news and finding out about the latest aerosol science conferences and events.


DDL21 – Drug Delivery to the Lungs Conference

Edinburgh International Conference Centre

8th – 10th December 2010

Aerosols in the Environment

Institute of Physics, London, UK

19th April 2011

NanoFormulation2011 Conference


26th June – 1st July 2011

European Aerosol Conference

University of Manchester

4th – 9th September 2011



The aerosol society sponsors a number of educational training and student awards. The CN Davies award is currently open for applicants from new graduates until 31st March 2011. For further information on this and other awards please refer to the website.


Society News


We have lots of news in this issue so here is a quick summary of the items you can find below:

- Drug Delivery to the Lungs 21
- Extraordinary General Meeting
- Death of founding member Alan Cussens
- Report from the International Aerosol Conference
- European Aerosol Conference 2011

Drug Delivery to the Lungs 21, 8th – 10th December 2010

Drug Delivery to the Lungs is Europe’s premier conference and exhibition dedicated to pulmonary and nasal drug delivery and is again being held at the Edinburgh International Conference Centre. For 2010, there are 70 Exhibitors and 430 delegates attending as well as speakers from UK, Europe, America, Canada and Australia.

For further details please go to www.ddl-conference.org.uk

Extraordinary General Meeting


Members of The Aerosol Society are invited to remain for a short meeting after the morning DDL session to elect new members to The Aerosol Society Committee

The Meeting will take no longer than 10 – 15 minutes

Death of founding member Alan Cussens

Alan Cussens, one of the originators, a long serving committee member and Honorary Life Member of the Aerosol Society, died after a short illness on the 14th of October 2010.

Alan graduated in physics following National Service in the RAF. His first job was with the Atomic Energy Authority at Harwell where he worked in teams running the large and complex experimental rigs built to provide the data for early reactor design. However, after a fairly short time there he decided that his talents could probably be more profitably employed in the commercial sector and he took a job selling fluid dynamic measuring equipment, in the UK, for a Danish company. Over the next few years he built up an extensive knowledge of the field and a wide circle of contacts in universities and research institutes and then in 1973 he took the bold step of moving out of employment to set up his own distribution business. Bristol Industrial Research Associates Ltd (BIRAL) began by selling fluid dynamic instruments, where Alan had a very good knowledge of the market, but its major business soon became instruments for airborne particle characterisation and so began his association with the aerosol research community.

In 1986 a group of those who were involved in aerosol research in the UK and Ireland held a meeting to discuss forming a society to promote the science in both countries. Alan attended this inaugural meeting and was elected as a member of the first executive committee. He remained a committee member with a number of executive roles, including General Secretary, for the maximum term of ten years. Such was the value of his expertise that after a very short break he returned and was either a member or seconded to the committee until 2009. Perhaps Alan’s greatest contribution to the Society was in initiating the running of major conferences. He took a leading role in organising the first European Conference that the Society hosted in Oxford in 1992 and the International Aerosol Conference in Edinburgh in 1998. He also had a major supporting role in the European Conference held in Dublin in 2000. Without Alan’s business and financial expertise, the running of large conferences when the resources of the Society were very small would have been a much riskier undertaking. His major contribution to the Society was recognised by the awarding of Honorary Life Membership at the International Conference in 1998.

Alan had a very wide range of interests outside of work, which he pursued energetically, particularly after he retired from the day to day running of the Company. He had a considerable knowledge of literature and music and was a keen traveller with a lively interest in the people and culture of the countries he visited. He was also someone with a strong social conscience who contributed significant time and effort to a number of charitable causes and who enjoyed the wide range of personal contacts this brought him. He will be greatly missed, of course by his family and friends, but also by all those who knew him through his many and varied activities.

The International Aerosol Conference 2010

With more than 1300 delegates this IAC was easily the largest to date. This is hugely encouraging in terms of the continually growing interest in aerosol science but makes the organisation of such conferences increasingly difficult. The diversity of the field is clearly illustrated by the fact that, including special sessions, there were up to eight parallel sessions at any one time. These were further enhanced by the very large number of posters that, combined with the platform sessions, gave a comprehensive picture of the range of research being carried out world-wide. However, the numbers meant that it was only possible for an individual to cover a small proportion of the subject areas in the course of the conference.

Given the scope of the conference everyone’s highlights will be different but some things did seem to stand out. Perhaps the foremost aspect was illustrated by the opening plenary on “Aerosols from Biomass Burning”. The urgent requirement for the world to reduce reliance on fossil fuels brings with it new potential problems from particulate pollutants and it was encouraging to hear that numerous research groups are devoting effort to both anticipate and address these problems. The closely related field of climate change modelling continues to grow with the increasing awareness that the dynamics of the atmospheric aerosol is a major factor in predicting the progress of climate change.

It is quite rare for aerosol science to figure prominently in the news but the past year was an exception with the ash cloud from the Eyjafjallajökull volcano in Iceland causing havoc in European airspace. A special session on the efforts of a number of groups to monitor the cloud proved to be very popular indeed.

The ash cloud is clearly an exception but otherwise the major focus of measurement and instrument development remains in the nanometre size range with interesting developments in extending the reliable measurement range of instruments to single nanometre sizes. The use of nanoparticles in the construction of micro-engineered surfaces and structures was the subject of an excellent plenary lecture by Professor Mansoo Choi, which illustrated many exciting developments in this area.

The increasing importance of bioaerosols was illustrated with two special sessions on characterisation and field measurement issues. These highlighted the growing awareness of the importance of aerosols in disease transmission and requirement for specialised tools for discrimination and measurement.

The overall picture brought back from the conference was of a field of science and technology that is of growing importance in very diverse areas. These extend from climate modelling to construction of complex micro-engineered surface and from novel forms of power generation to disease transmission. We can only speculate as to what will be new in 2014.

European Aerosol Conference 2011

Preparations are well underway for the European Aerosol Conference to be held in Manchester, 4th – 9th September 2011. The website is up and running and has details of important dates for your diary, including the abstract submission deadline – 15th February 2011. You can download a template for abstracts here.


Please let us know of any news items related to members of the Aerosol Society that you would like to share with the rest of the society.



Aerosols in the News


NASA’s Earth Observatory recently updated its fact sheet on the global impact of aerosol particles. Their website also includes a map of global PM2.5 concentrations, following a paper earlier in the year from Dalhousie University that combined satellite imagery and model output.

Recent research on secondary organic aerosols suggests that the assumption that they are liquid may not be appropriate. The paper in Nature describes experiments that measured the degree of bounce in an aerosol impactor. The work has implications for the understanding of SOA processes.

Bioweapons pioneer, William Patrick, died on 1st October 2010. His intriguing career oversaw the dismantling of the US Army’s biological warfare laboratories and their renewed focus on defence against bio-aerosol attack. The Wall Street Journal gives a fascinating insight into this unusual aspect of aerosol science.

A recent discovery has found that gold nanoparticles can induce luminescence in leaves. When exposed to short wavelengths the gold nanoparticles emit blue-green light that in turn causes the chloroplasts to emit red light. The researchers in Taiwan suggest it could even open up the possibility of using trees as streetlights.


Please let us know if you have any stories you would like us to feature. We would also consider including links to academic job opportunities relevant to aerosol science.



Secretary Sheila Coates, The Aerosol Society, PO Box 34, Portishead, North Somerset, BS20 7FE,
Tel: 01275 849019, Fax: 01275 844877, www.aerosol-soc.org.uk, email: admin@aerosol-soc.org.uk


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