AIR unites community-driven design with scientific research to build local capacity to improve air quality



The Air quality Impact Research (AIR) group at Olin College of Engineering unites community driven design with scientific research to generates insights for advocacy, tools for personal and community action, and strategies and designs for improving air health within local systems. With Dr. Scott Hersey, the AIR Group develops local partnerships to facilitate understanding and cooperation with communities, in addition to working toward the ultimate goal of improving air quality outcomes. Community-driven, each project takes a different form based on the local context, the partners, and the specific challenges being addressed. Some examples of current and former projects in the AIR group can be seen below.




Democratizing Data

Putting real-time air quality data in the hands of residents near Boston's Logan Airport.

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Sensor Development

Designing and prototyping a low-cost, self-contained, and mobile air quality monitoring instrument.


Urban Park Design

Co-designing a healthier and more user-friendly park in Boston's Chinatown.                

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Home Intervention

Expanding access to in-home air quality improvement strategies for near-source households.


"It's been amazing to work on a project that has such huge implications for people's health and that has resulted in real benefit for a local community." 

-student researcher


Why Olin College?

Olin’s mission statement holds that we “prepare students to become exemplary engineering innovators who recognize needs, design solutions, and engage in creative enterprises for the good of the world." The AIR Group embodies this mission, aiming to come alongside local communities to make real impact on their air health while developing the next generation of community-engaged scientists, engineers, and designers to solve emerging environmental problems.