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University of Birmingham Professor Roy Harrison OBE has today been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society in recognition of his outstanding contribution to science.

The Fellowship of the Royal Society is made up of the most eminent scientists, engineers and technologists in the UK and the Commonwealth.

Queen Elizabeth II Birmingham Centenary Professor of Environmental Health at the University of Birmingham since 1991, Professor Harrison is also Distinguished Adjunct Professor at King Abdulaziz University in Saudi Arabia.

His career in academia has spanned more than three decades and his main specialism is in air pollution and its impact on human health.

Having been a member of several government advisory groups, as well as a contributor to the World Health Organisation’s guidelines on global and indoor air quality, Professor Harrison is highly influential in helping to shape scientific and environmental policy.

In recognition of his government advisory work, he was appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE) in the 2004 New Year Honours List.

He is the author of more than 500 research papers published in peer-reviewed literature and is listed by the Institute for Scientific Research as a Highly Cited Researcher having been cited on more than 21,000 occasions.

Professor Roy Harrison said: “I am fortunate to lead and be involved in pioneering research aiming to create a real impact in terms of the preservation of the quality of the environment and the protection of public health.

“To have been elected as a Fellow of the Royal Society is a tremendous honour and is particularly welcome as I continue to strive to inform and develop policy in the UK and around the globe.”

Venki Ramakrishnan, President of the Royal Society, said: “Science is a great triumph of human achievement and has contributed hugely to the prosperity and health of our world.

“In the coming decades it will play an increasingly crucial role in tackling the great challenges of our time including food, energy, health and the environment.

“The new Fellows of the Royal Society have already contributed much to science and it gives me great pleasure to welcome them into our ranks.”

For further information, contact Emma McKinney, Press Office, University of Birmingham, on +44 (0) 121 414 6681. For out of hours enquiries please call +44 (0) 7789 921 165.

• The University of Birmingham is ranked amongst the world’s top 100 institutions. Its work brings people from across the world to Birmingham, including researchers, teachers and more than 5,000 international students from over 150 countries.
• Professor Harrison started his academic career as a chemist, gaining both BSc and PhD degrees from the University of Birmingham. He went on to work at Imperial College London, Lancaster University and the University of Essex before joining the University of Birmingham in 1991 to take up the newly created post of Queen Elizabeth II Birmingham Centenary Professor of Environmental Health.
• He became Director of the Institute of Public and Environmental Health in 1994, and in 1999 Head of the Division of Environmental Health and Risk Management. He has played an active role outside the University as Chairman of the Quality of Urban Air Review Group for the Department of Environment and the Airborne Particles Expert Group for the Department of Environment, Transport and the Regions and was subsequently a member of Defra’s Science Advisory Council.
• He has been a member of the DETR (now DEFRA) Expert Panel on Air Quality Standards (now the COMEAP Sub-Committee on Standards) since 1991 and is currently Deputy Chairman. He is a member of the Department of Health Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, the DEFRA Air Quality Expert Group and the Department of Health Committee on Toxicity.
• He has also served on numerous other committees including the Natural Environment Research Council’s Atmospheric Science and Technology Board, the HEFCE RAE 2001 Earth & Environmental Sciences Panel and RAE 2008 Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences Panel, the Medical Research Council Advisory Board, NERC Peer Review College and the Natural Environment Research Council's Science & Innovation Strategy Board.
• He was appointed a Part-time Strategic Theme Leader for Environment, Pollution & Human Health, Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) from 2007 to 2012. He was a member of the Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences Panel for REF 2014.
• He leads the Birmingham node of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science. This is funded by NERC as part of the Directorate for Atmospheric Composition of the distributed Centre.