Professor Kirk Smith was awarded two honorary professorships this spring: one from Tsinghua University, a top research university in Beijing and one from the Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences in Ulaanbaatar. These prestigious professorships recognize Smith’s colossal contributions to the understanding and mitigation of air pollution, considered one of the deadliest environmental health risks in the world.
For over 40 years, Smith has been a leader in air pollution research, both locally and globally in many countries, including China, India and Mongolia. His research has evaluated the health effects of household air pollution and has aided medical and engineering professionals in devising measures to improve air quality in high exposure communities.
Throughout his celebrated career, Smith has contributed to the World Health Organization’s Air Quality Guidelines, as well as three of the five assessment reports from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. He has held visiting professorships in India and China, and served on various national and international scientific advisory committees, including the National Research Council’s Board on Atmospheric Science and Climate and the International Comparative Risk Assessment of the Global Burden of Disease Project.
Smith’s honorary professorships will open doors to increased international research and cooperation assessing the source and extent of air pollution exposure.
“The invitation of Professor Smith to be the ‘Honorary Professor’ of Tsinghua University will greatly promote the development of our school's environmental health discipline, enhance the international influence of our school's relevant research, and even increase the general public's awareness of health impact of exposure to air pollution,” says a report from Tsinghua University.
Smith received his honorary appointments from He Kebin, dean of the School of Environment at Tsinghua University, on May 26, and from Tsolmon Jadamba, president of the Mongolian National University of Medical Sciences, on March 28.