Summer student placement opportunity

Living Lab for Air Quality Student internship– Web Visualisation of Air Quality data for Leeds

Contact:  Steve Arnold ( or Kirsty Pringle (

This placement will last for 4 weeks and take place during Summer Recess 

Paid at University Salary grade 3

Application Deadline Midnight Sunday 9thJune.

Interviews to take place Tuesday 18thJune.

Ambient (outdoor) air pollution is a major cause of death and disease.  Globally an estimated 4.2 million premature deaths are linked to exposure to ambient air pollution, of these approximately 40,000 occur in the UK, and 700 in Leeds itself.  Better monitoring of the levels of pollutants in the air around our towns and cities is a vital step in the fight to reduce air pollution, and thus reduce the impact of pollution on human health.  Low-cost, portable sensors offer an exciting new way to measure particulate matter air pollution and, for the first time, allow scientists to build up a detailed picture of the variation of air pollution across urban areas.  

The Living Lab for Air Quality ( is a novel study carried out by the University of Leeds that uses these portable sensors to monitor air quality on campus.  The project is now in the process of adding a range of static monitoring sites around campus, and these are soon to be rolled out to sites all across Leeds.

The successful candidate will help to develop a web-based visualisation tools to build an interactive web dashboard on which a data from this low-cost sensor network can be displayed. In the future, the aim is for the dashboard to host data from across Leeds and Bradford, including data from schools and community groups. The student will gain from hands-on training in Python programming, web development and in processing and handling of environmental datasets. The emphasis will be on helping the student to develop skills in scientific computing, computer programming, data analysis and data visualisation. In addition, students will develop transferrable skills in teamworking, communication and will have the opportunity to present their work to researchers both at at the School of Earth and Environment Leeds University. 

The project will involve:

  • Reviewing existing environmental dashboards to identify an optimum design and required functionality.
  • Designing options to combine static (site) data with short time periods of mobile data (from pollution monitoring walks).
  • Developing a draft dashboard, either by adapting an existing tool or dashboard (we have some open sources examples) or writing new code.
  • Writing code to visualise environmental data in novel ways.

The applicant will need to be familiar with programming in Python and it is likely that the dashboard will be developed within a tool called “Flask”. Any experience with “matplotlib” and using Pandas to access CSV data would be desirable, but training will be provided if the applicant has not used these before. There is a possibility that Java Script programming will be used as well. 

During the project, you will work with members of the CEMAC (Centre for Environmental Modelling and Research) Software Development Scientist team based in the School of Earth and Environment.   

This is a great opportunity for candidates interested in pursuing a future in web technologies, or research software engineering.  The candidate will build up an experience with current, contemporary and relevant programming tools. The end product will have high visibility for users around the city of Leeds and provide information for current policy makers.

To apply, visit and register at: