Loughborough University’s Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) is delighted to announce Breathe, as the IAS Annual Theme for 2022-23. IAS Annual Themes run across the academic year, bringing leading international researchers to the University to work with colleagues in areas of established and emergent research excellence, catalysed by the Theme.

Breathe, led by Sam Winter (SSEHS)Diganta Das (AACME)Joan Fitzpatrick (SSH) and Liam Heaney (SSEHS)

Breathe is a timely and imaginative focus through which to engage with issues ranging from the impact of the Covid pandemic, risks around poor air quality, the weaponizing of the atmosphere and the significance of breath to speech, song, communication, creativity and life itself. Going forward, the IAS will be working with the Theme leads in developing a dynamic and interdisciplinary programme that brings international experts to Loughborough to explore the scientific, historical, cultural, sociological and ethical implications of what it means to 'Breathe' and what this tells us about the world we live in today.

Breathe is organised through a series of cross-disciplinary strands:

IAS Annual Theme 22-23 Launch - Breathe
Wednesday 12th October 2022

Exploring the scientific, historical, cultural, sociological and ethical dimensions of what it means to breathe, and what this tells us about the world in which we live, the Theme brings international researchers from many fields and disciplines together around issues ranging from the impact of the Covid pandemic, climate change and poor air quality on health, social justice and equity, to the significance of breath to speech, song, communication, design, creativity and life itself.

Tanja Latussek (Breath Therapist, Bali): Breathwork
Britta Boyer (RMIT Vietnam) and Markus Wernli (Hong Kong Polytechnic University): On Breathful Design in Breathless Times
Petteri Nurmi (University of Helsinki and IAS Visiting Fellow): On Air Quality and Breath
Stephanie Rankin-Turner (Johns Hopkins University): On Mosquitoes Sensing Exhaled Breath
Thomas Ward (Department of Respiratory Medicine, University of Leicester): On Exercise and Breathing
Mattias Heldner (Stockholm University and IAS Visiting Fellow): On Breath and Communication

Joint lecture hosted by the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) and the Loughborough Centre for Sustainable Transitions: Energy, Environment and Resilience (STEER)
Tuesday 21st March 2023

IAS Visiting Fellow Heather Adair-Rohani delivers a seminar on their research, fully titled 'Leveraging the health argument as a driver for evidence-based multisectoral action on clean cooking in low- and middle-income countries (LMIC)'

Worldwide, nearly three billion people rely on traditional solid fuels and technologies for cooking and heating. This has severe implications for health, gender relations, livelihoods, environmental quality and global and local climates. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), household air pollution from cooking with traditional solid fuels contributes to three to four million premature deaths every year – more than malaria and tuberculosis combined. Women and children are disproportionally affected by health impacts, and bear much of the burden of collecting firewood or other traditional fuels.

In this joint lecture hosted by the Institute of Advanced Studies (IAS) and the Loughborough Centre for Sustainable Transitions: Energy, Environment and Resilience (STEER) as part of the IAS Breathe annual theme of events, IAS Visiting Fellow Heather Adair-Rohani, who leads the work on energy and health at the WHO, will outline the health burden of biomass based cooking practices and highlight some of the policy and programmatic challenges of achieving clean cooking in the past. Solutions for overcoming these challenges will be shared, emphasizing the importance of intersectoral collaboration between the health, clean cooking and sustainable development sectors in order to catalyse modern energy access policy development and implementation referencing.

The need and role of evidence-based normative guidance for all sectors to drive policy and effective implementation of clean cooking on the ground will be highlighted. The ongoing collaboration between WHO and STEER via the UK Aid (FCDO) funded Modern Energy Cooking Services (MECS) programme will be highlighted, which brings together intersectoral collaboration in the health, clean cooking and sustainable development sectors to drive progress in scaling access to modern energy cooking services, with an emphasis on clean, electric cooking. Examples of WHO and Health and Energy Platform of Action (HEPA) activities will be given to highlight the importance of building shared capacity and information resources to shape and harmonize programmatic decision making across sectors and ministries in countries to ensure and maximise the benefits of clean cooking energy transitions. The need for coordination politically and technically, and the role of HEPA in framework of the SDGs and beyond will be highlighted using examples of coordinated outputs from HEPA for clean cooking.

AIRBODS Design Guide Launch
Wednesday 22nd March 2023

On a Friday afternoon in April 2020, deep into Covid lockdown, when people all over the world were ill, confused and frustrated, a multi-disciplinary group of researchers came together and decided they must act, and AIRBODS was born. AIRBODS (Airborne Infection Reduction through Building Operation and Design for SARS-CoV-2) received funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS). The priority was to work fast, responding initially to the acute need for advice on how to safely operate buildings during a pandemic from the point of view ventilation and fresh air distribution. The team did this through a combination of field studies, experimental work, modelling and focus group discussions with building operators.

Convened by: AIRBODS Principal InvestigatorProfessor Malcolm Cook (Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering)

This seminar will present key findings from the work and launch the resulting guidance document, with presentations from:

IAS Visiting Fellow, Professor William P. Bahnfleth, Pennsylvania State University

And AIRBODS Team Members:
Dr Filipa Adzic, University College London
Dr Abigail Hathaway, University of Sheffield
Associate Professor Ben Jones, University of Nottingham
Associate Professor Liora Malki-Epshtein, University College London
Patricia Pino, Wirth Research
Dr Ben Roberts, Loughborough University
Elpida Vangeloglou, London South Bank University

Breathe - Provocations and Panel Discussion
Wednesday 22nd March 2023

This IAS Breathe theme event is an interdisciplinary research showcase led by our international IAS fellows. Their presentations are intended to provoke interest and exchanges with the audience. The aim is to stimulate new research and new collaborations within and between Loughborough researchers and its international research networks. The theme of the panel discussion will be ‘What can we work on together?’, this will be followed by an opportunity for networking and discussions with refreshments.

With presentations from IAS Visiting Fellows:
Heather Adair-Rohani, World Health Organisation
Professor William P. Bahnfleth, Pennsylvania State University 
Professor Hannah Holscher, University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
Professor Timothy D Mickleborough, Indiana University
Professor Bill Sheel, University of British Columbia

Breathe - June Events
Week Commencing 26th June 2023

Event for Breathe in June will include presentations from IAS Visiting Fellows:

Prof Alamelu Sundaresan, Department of Biology, Texas Southern University
Professor Mario Thevis, German Sport University Cologne
Assoc. Prof Holly Dugan, Department of English, George Washington University
Prof Masashi Yamakawa, Kyoto Institute of Technology
Prof Akhilendra Bhushan Gupta, Malaviya National Institute of Technology, Jaipur
Dr Swati Satish Joshi, Indian Institute of Technology Gandhinagar

Please see our events page for specific details of each event -