Skip to main navigationSkip to main content
The University of Southampton
Sustainability Action

Aviation and the Environment Event

3 December 2013
Room 2001 Building 22 (Transportation Research Group).

For more information regarding this event, please email .

Event details

You are all welcome to come to a talk on Aviation and the Environment by Dr Steven Barrett from Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. This will be held at 16.00 on 3 December 2013 - Room 2001 in building 22 (Transportation Research Group).

Air travel demand is forecast to double or triple by the middle of the century. With significant environmental pressures facing the industry, a defining challenge for aviation in its second century is to understand and reduce the environmental impacts of air travel. This talk will describe recent advances in understanding aviation’s impact on the environment, particularly in the areas of climate change and air quality. For example, the extent to which different flights have differing climatic impacts will be discussed, and an estimate of the global human health burden of aircraft pollution will be given. Specific policy options will also be analysed – including expansion of Heathrow (or a Thames Estuary airport) and alternative jet fuels. Finally, a novel alternative approach to air-breathing propulsion will be described – one with no moving mechanical parts or direct combustion emissions.

Speaker information

Steven Barrett, is an Assistant Professor of Aeronautics and Astronautics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. His principal research interests are in quantifying the environmental impacts of aviation and other modes of transport, and conducting system-level analyses of potential mitigation technologies and policies. A current focus is in assessing the lifecycle environmental impacts of large-scale biofuel production and use in transport. He also works on other areas related to energy and the environment – atmospheric modeling, geoengineering, contaminant dispersion, and quantifying the environmental impacts of other sectors of the economy. He is Director of the Laboratory for Aviation and the Environment at MIT ( and is also Associate Director of the Partnership for Air Transportation Noise and Emissions Reduction ( – a US-Canadian Center of Excellence with participants from 12 universities and 50 industry and government organizations. He teaches MIT courses in energy conversion and the environmental impacts of transport, and previously taught environmental fluid mechanics at Cambridge University.

Privacy Settings