Derek Jardine
26 October 2023

IAQM Routes to Clean Air Conference 2023

This year’s Routes to Clean Air conference took place in Manchester on the 10th and 11th October. This is the first time since 2019 that the conference was 2-day, in-person event, and it was a sellout. The IAQM works hard to improve our events each year, and this year’s Routes to Clean Air conference saw a few changes compared to the previous years.

A call for abstracts went out to all members, with the aim of encouraging new voices to come along and present at the conference. We wanted to create a thought-provoking packed programme that covered a wide range of topics, to encourage as much discussion as possible. Over the course of the 2 days, we had 27 speakers and 3 poster presentations. The first day of the conference focused on presentations around Indoor Air Quality, Net Zero and Climate Change. We also had two fantastic presentations from members of our Early Careers Network, and these speakers received excellent feedback on the day. The programme on the first day ended with an interactive session from Defra. Sarah Reeves explained how Defra are integrating the Environment Act air quality targets into the planning system, and she gave the audience a chance to provide constructive feedback on the plans, and welcomed comments on how the integration could be improved.

The second day of the conference focused on monitoring, modelling, analysis and policy. In order to fit as many presentations in as possible, we opted to have a few rapid sessions made up of 3 short 10-minute presentations over the course of 30 minutes. Mary Cameron from the British Occupation Hygiene Society (BOHS) presented on the work that BOHS are doing, and the overlap between their goals and the goals of the IAQM.


A conference room filled with people sitting around round tables, facing the front of the room where a person is giving a presentation.
The Routes to Clean Air conference in full swing, 11th October 2023

At any conference, one of the main benefits to the attendees is the networking opportunities and the chance to forge meaningful connections with like-minded professionals. In addition to the coffee breaks and lunch breaks during the conference, we decided to introduce an informal conference dinner on the Tuesday evening, to maximise the opportunities for networking. This was a fantastic chance for attendees to connect with IAQM committee and speakers in a more relaxed setting.

A huge part of the conference’s success is the continued support we receive from key players in the industry. This year we had 8 companies attending the conference and sharing their cutting-edge technology with conference attendees. The interactive exhibition offered a first-hand experience of the latest advancements and helped to provide an insight into the future direction of air quality management.

From the delegate survey, over 80% of respondents thought that the speakers were engaging, and over 95% thought the presentations were interesting and informative. Overall, the conference was a great success, and we look forward to continuing to grow the conference in years to come.