University of Aberdeen, Respiratory Group, Division of Applied Health Sciences

United Kingdom

Aberdeen is an international university built on serving one of the most dynamic regions of Europe. With over 16,000 students from more than 120 nationalities and over 3000 staff the University is at the forefront of teaching and research in medicine, the humanities and sciences. Some University of Aberdeen successes include: 5 Nobel Laureates; the generation of 21 spin- off companies and mover 400 patents pending, high quality teaching with over 89% subjects rated Excellent/Highly Satisfactory; 97% of graduates entering directly into work, further study or training within 6 months; 85% of academic staff who are research active and a trebling of research income in the last decade. Capital expenditure 1999-2009 totalled £229 million, with a further £148 million to be invested in infrastructure to 2019.

The University of Aberdeen has been involved in European projects since framework 3 and has, to date, been successful in participating in more than 700 grants funded by the European Commission, including 10 ERC Grants. The University has also been successful in securing a number of grants under schemes such as ESF, Socrates, Interreg, COST and Leonardo.


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Sean Semple

Sean Semple, PhD, is Senior Lecturer at the Respiratory Group, University of Aberdeen. Sean is an expert in human exposure science with interests in occupational epidemiology, tobacco control and the health effects of air pollution. He has conducted a program of translational research focused on air quality measurement and interventions relating to second-hand smoke, biomass fuel smoke and workplace inhalation hazards. Sean has supervised 9 successful PhD students with a further 5 in progress and is author of over 150 research publications and editor of text-book ‘Monitoring Health Hazards at Work’ (translated in to Chinese, 2012). Sean is chief investigator or co-investigator on research projects valued >£3M since 2009 and his publications have a current H- index of 24.

Rachel O’Donnell

Rachel O’Donnell, PhD, is a Research Fellow with the Respiratory Group, University of Aberdeen. Rachel has over 20 years’ research experience, 15 of which have focussed on research in tobacco control. She has worked previously with University of Edinburgh, ASH Scotland, and the University of Aberdeen, and has more recently been involved in research on the use of air quality feedback to reduce second-hand smoke (SHS) in the home. Rachel has specific expertise in qualitative research design and analysis, and has worked on several projects conducting qualitative interviews with parents living in areas of social deprivation in Scotland, examining the barriers and facilitators to creating and maintaining a smoke-free home.

Ruaraidh Dobson

Ruaraidh is a Research Assistant and PhD student with the Respiratory Group, University of Aberdeen. He has worked in tobacco control since 2013, first with the British Lung Foundation and then at Aberdeen and at ASH Scotland. Ruaraidh’s PhD work focuses on the development and use of interventions featuring air quality feedback to promote smoke-free homes.