Engaged in the research of air ions

Wednesday, 9. January
In early November, at the open session of the Promotion Council «RTU P–19» (Environmental Science) of Riga Technical University, Andris Skromulis successfully defended the Doctoral Thesis “Impact of Anthropogenic Pollution on Air Ion Concentration” (supervisors Dr. habil. geol. Gotfrīds Noviks and Dr. sc. ing. Edmunds Teirumnieks) and received the PhD degree of Environmental Engineering.

Andris graduated from the Bachelor's study programme “Environmental Engineer” and Master's study programme “Environmental Protection” at Rezekne Higher Education Institution, and consequently studied at the doctoral programme, choosing “Environmental Engineering”. The aim of the Doctoral Thesis was to study the impact of human-created atmospheric pollution on air ions and elaborate a mathematical model for characterization of this interaction. The study results are summarized in 11 publications in Latvian and English.

Talking about the research topic, Andris reveals, “I had already addressed this problem when pursuing my Master's degree. In one of Professor Gotfrīds Noviks`s lectures I learned that there is ionization of the atmosphere and decided to study it more. According to the studies carried out in the Soviet Union and Russia, I found out that atmospheric ions have an effect on human health. It should be stressed that this topic had not be studied in Latvia, so the idea was to find out how human-created atmospheric pollution affects ions. I measured the concentration of positive and negative air ions at eight places of Rezekne city using an air ion counter over a three year period. It was found that the concentration of these ions was reduced at places with the highest air pollution - crossroads with the busiest traffic and railway station, when compared to other places. It was concluded that air ions help to purify air and remove human-created pollution faster.”

Since nobody in Latvia could share his experience on the study of air ions, Andris went to his foreign colleagues. “Many thanks to the University of Tartu. Its Department of Atmospheric Physics deals with the studies of air ions and the phenomena of atmospheric electricity since the 70ies. I worked in close collaboration with the University of Helsinki where, together with Finish students, I carried out an experiment and prepared joint publication. Within the study, I went to Kazan (the capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russia) where air ion counters are produced,” says Andris.

Andris emphasizes that meetings with like-minded people, opportunity to participate in conferences, get new experiences, and share his own research findings helped him to better understand and explore the topic. He also expresses his gratitude to the supervisors G. Noviks and E. Teirumnieks who helped with their advice and support.

Andris calls on the young researchers to have courage and be active, “If you get impressed by a topic, if you want to explore it, you have to do it. It is important not to tire out and not to neglect what has already been done. I wish you great strength! Take the opportunities provided by conferences - new knowledge, contacts, experience of colleagues!”


Inga Kaļva-Miņina,

Information specialist,

RTA Public Relations Department


Photo by Māris Justs

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