Professor Laxen is Managing Director of Air Quality Consultants Ltd. Duncan set up the company 21 years ago and has overseen its growth in to one of the largest air quality consultancies in the UK.
Duncan graduated from Lancaster University with a degree and MSc in Environmental Sciences and a PhD in atmospheric chemistry. Post-doctoral positions followed at Lancaster, then at the University of Edinburgh. He moved to London in 1983 to join the air quality team in the Greater London Council, which evolved into a consultancy following the demise of the GLC, before setting up his own Bristol-based company in 1993, which has now grown to 18 staff.
Contributing to the development of air quality management and assessment in the UK and the EU had been a particularly rewarding aspect of Duncan’s career. He ensured this by his participation in Government and European Commission expert groups; by contributing to Defra contracts that involved developing guidance; and by helping develop guidance through his involvement with the Institute of Air Quality Management and with Environmental Protection UK.
“I currently enjoy working with an excellent team of people who all contribute to the success of the company. We frequently discuss jobs and how to deal with technical issues that are constantly evolving, and this helps us ensure the high quality of our output.”
A recent project Duncan found particularly stimulating was the report he worked on for the SNIFFER organisations on ‘PM2.5 in the UK’. Especially interesting was the use of the ‘openair’ software pioneered by Dr David Carslaw, (Kings College, London), which provided a powerful tool to analyse and present a large amount of PM2.5 monitoring data. He later worked on Defra’s Air Quality Expert Group report on PM2.5. As a consequence, Duncan joined a delegation of UK experts on a visit to Beijing to present UK experience on PM2.5.
Duncan joined the IAQM, and consequently the IES, as he believes:
“It is important to have a professional institute for air quality practitioners. I am pleased IAQM has continued to grow, and is now producing guidance documents to support air quality management and assessment.”