Eitidal Al-Bassam who obtained a BSc from Kuwait University, followed by an MSc at the University of Sussex, has successfully passed her PhD viva with her thesis entitled 'Traffic Emissions and Air Quality in the Vicinity of Selected Schools in Kuwait'. Her external examiner was Prof Giorgio Passerini from the Università delle Marche, Italy and the internal examiner was Prof Carlos Brebbia.
There is a growing concern in Kuwait about the air quality in the vicinity of schools. The problem is exacerbated at peak congestion times, which adversely affects the traffic flow and the air quality. Several primary pollutants have been observed to be excessive during the peak periods in this country.
The main objective of this study was to prepare an emission inventory for road traffic next to a limited number of selected schools on an hourly basis, based on traffic movement (speed). The flow of traffic was also continuously recorded at 15 minute intervals for the entire period of investigation. The California Line Source Dispersion Model (CALINE4) was used to compute air concentration of carbon monoxide (CO), Nitrogen dioxide (NO2), and suspended particles in ambient air adjacent to schools.
Alternative strategies were proposed to address traffic congestion and traffic pollution problems by investigating the introduction of school buses to reduce traffic congestion as well as air pollution. Students and parents’ attitude towards school buses was also surveyed. The predicted results were compared with measured values to validate the model. The use of public transport in the selected schools was modelled and reflected a substantial improvement over traffic flow, fuel utilization, energy conservation and air quality.
As a result of the viva and based on the research carried out, both examiners recommended that Eitidal be awarded the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.