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Department of Engineering

Alumna and aerospace engineer honoured in Forbes 30 Under 30 list

Alumna and aerospace engineer honoured in Forbes 30 Under 30 list

Alumna Dr Irene Dedoussi has been named on this year’s Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe: Science and Healthcare list.

I look back at my Cambridge years with both great nostalgia, but also great appreciation for the general engineering principles that the course was based on. They are very much critical in tackling the interdisciplinary challenges in my research field.

Dr Irene Dedoussi

According to Forbes, Dr Dedoussi joins “a collection of thinkers, dreamers and innovators from across Europe who are driving innovation and discovery from genetics to outer space”. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Faculty of Aerospace Engineering at the Delft University of Technology, where she researches the environmental impacts of combustion emissions from aviation and other industrial sectors.

As cited by Forbes, Dr Dedoussi’s work has contributed to the first peer-reviewed assessment of health impacts from the Volkswagen emissions scandal in the United States. Meanwhile, the findings of her recent paper, published in Nature, reveal that around half of outdoor air pollution-related premature mortality due to combustion emissions in the United States, happen outside the state that caused the corresponding emissions.

Dr Dedoussi (St John’s College) studied for her Bachelor (BA) and Master of Engineering degrees (MEng) at Cambridge from 2008-12. She carried out her fourth year project at the Department’s Whittle Laboratory – a world-leading research centre for turbomachinery aerodynamics, and it was this encounter, she says, that first sparked her interest in the environmental effects of aviation.

“My fourth year project at the Whittle Laboratory focused on the noise from the landing gear of the Boeing 747 and from that, I went on to study the other environmental effects from aviation, namely those related to emissions, during my PhD at MIT (Massachusetts Institute of Technology),” she said.

“I look back at my Cambridge years with both great nostalgia, but also great appreciation for the general engineering principles that the course was based on. They are very much critical in tackling the interdisciplinary challenges in my research field – and I still have the data books!”

On being named on the Forbes 30 Under 30 Europe list, Dr Dedoussi said: “It's a very nice recognition, especially as I'm turning 30 soon! On a serious note though, I endeavour for my research/scientific work to reach the widest audience possible, and so I'm very humbled by this recognition.”

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