Fleur Hughes is the Network Manager for the Science and Technology Facilities Council Air Quality Network (SAQN) based at University of York, which aims to find novel ways to address air quality challenges.
My role has many different elements but ultimately it’s about connecting air quality scientists with the Science and Technology Facilities Council so they can utilise all its amazing research tools, knowledge and experience to produce the best air-quality research.
Fleur drives engagement in a variety of ways:
- organising events and workshops to bring together researchers
- writing newsletters to keep the community informed of current developments and opportunities
- assisting with funding awards.
I have a good overview of the research, whereas individual scientists are often focused on one small area. It means I’m well placed to spot opportunities for making connections, so everyone can get the best value from their research.
For example, a researcher may get in touch to say they want to measure a particular aspect of air quality and I can connect them with an STFC expert who can create a new sensor to measure it. We also connect air quality scientists with researchers in other disciplines, such as the medical research community.
Although Fleur doesn’t have a background in science, training as a musician before she entered project management, one of the aspects of her role she most enjoys is being part of the research community.
I love being surrounded by people who are so interested in the world. The great thing about project management is that you can move between different areas of research, learn about these fields and make a contribution.
I don’t know how to operate any of the impressive machinery in the lab where I’m based, but it’s very rewarding to know I play part in the ambitious goal of tackling major air quality challenges, something that can have enormous health benefits around the world.
Last updated: 3 August 2021