Distinguished Professor Lidia Morawska

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Professor, School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences

PhD (Jagiellonian University), MSc (Jagiellonian University)

Lidia Morawska is a Distinguished Professor and Australian Laureate Fellow in the School of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) in Brisbane, Australia; the Director of the International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health (ILAQH) at QUT, a World Health Organization (WHO) Collaborating Centre on Air Quality and Health; a Co-Director in Australia for the Australia – China Centre for Air Quality Science and Management (ACC-AQSM); an Adjunct Professor at the Institute for Environmental and Climate Research (ECI), at the Jinan University, Guangzhou, China; and a Vice-Chancellor Fellow, Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE), University of Surrey, United Kingdom. She conducts fundamental and applied research in the interdisciplinary field of air quality and its impact on human health and the environment, with a specific focus on science of airborne particulate matter. She is an author of >1,000 journal papers, book chapters and conference papers. Lidia has been involved at the executive level with a number of relevant national/international professional bodies, is a member of the Australian Academy of Science, Queensland Academy of Arts and Sciences, Royal Society of Biology and acting as an advisor to the World Health Organization.

Lidia Morawska grew up in a city in the south-eastern part of Poland – Przemyśl. This is where she completed her primary and secondary education during her university years. She is a physicist and received her doctorate in 1982 at the Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland for research on radon and its progeny. From 1982 to 1987, she was a research fellow at the Institute of Physics and Nuclear Techniques, Academy of Mining and Metallurgy, Cracow, Poland. She spent from 1987 to 1991 in Canada, conducting research first at McMaster University in Hamilton, as a Postdoctoral Research Fellow of the International Atomic Energy Agency, and later at the University of Toronto. In 1991, she was appointed Senior Lecturer at QUT, as well as promoted to Professor in 2003. In 1992, she established the Environmental Aerosol Laboratory at QUT, renamed the ILAQH in 2002, when it became a WHO Collaborating Centre for Air Quality and Health. She is a long-standing collaborator and advisor to the WHO and has contributed to all WHO air quality-related guidelines since 1990, including co-chairing the Guideline Development Group (2006 to 2021), responsible for numerous standards. She is Associate Editor of Science of the Total Environment journal from 2010-2020.

In 2022, she received the American Association for Aerosol Research (AAAR) Susanne V. Herring Award “in recognition of (her) outstanding research and contributions in the field of aerosol science that has had a significant impact on public health, the built environment, and the global ecosystem”; was named “Leader in the field of Environmental Sciences” in Research 2023 magazine; and ranked 13 in Australia and 435 in the world in the Research.com’s Ranking of Top 1000 Female Scientists in the World.

In 2021, she received the QUT Researcher of the Year, Faculty of Science Dean’s Outstanding Achievement Award; QUT Centre for Data Science Trans-disciplinary Research Excellence Award in recognition of “outstanding interdisciplinary research and leadership, with global impact”; Honorary Fellow of the Clean Air Society of Australia and New Zealand (CASANZ) – CASANZ has not awarded this honour to any member since the society was established in 1966—55 years ago—which makes this is the first time in CASANZ history that an Honorary Fellow has been presented; the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate (ISIAQ) Special 2020 Award for an Extraordinary Academic Leadership; named in the2021 TIME100 annual list of the hundred most influential people in the world; and named in The Australian Lifetime Achiever & Superstar of Research in the Life & Earth Sciences field.

In 2020, she received the QUT Vice-Chancellor’s Award for Leadership Excellence; was named one of Australia’s top 40 researchers in The Australian Research Magazine in the Life Sciences & Earth Sciences section; ranked in The Sydney Morning Herald’s Good Weekend’s 40 Australians Who Mattered: Health and Science; and ranked 16,428 in the Stanford University ranking of 100,000 Top Scientists.

Prior to this, she was the recipient of the 2018 Eureka Prize for Infectious Diseases Research (Australian Museum of Eureka Prizes); 2017 AAAR David Sinclair Award, where in his nomination of her for this award Professor Tunga Salthammer of the Fraunhofer WKI (Germany) stated that she “…has long been considered as one of the top researchers in the field of aerosol science, covering a broad scientific spectrum including, radon, traffic exhaust, indoor related particle emissions, modeling and occupational exposure. For more than 30 years, she has worked in challenging and important areas of aerosol research, with her outstanding results of substantial value for other researchers”; 2017 QUT Vice-Chancellor’s Performance Award; and 2011 ‘Clean Air Medal, CASANZfor “…sustained and dedicated contribution to the understanding of fine particles in the air”. She is also past President of the International Society of ISIAQ.

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