Internship | Air pollution exposure assessment



Education type

university (wo)


Internship and graduation project

Hours a week

Fulltime – 40


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Air pollution is a global problem resulting in 4.2 million premature deaths in 2016 (WHO factsheet) and costs an estimated 8.1 trillion USD in 2019 equivalent to 6.1% of global GDP (Worldbank). Pollution levels increase 8% per year. The latest burden estimates reflect the very significant role air pollution plays in cardiovascular illness and death. Particulate Matter (PM) is a common proxy indicator for air pollution. It affects more people than any other pollutant. Estimations of Years of Life Lost or Disability Adjusted Life Years rely on the combination of simulated air pollution concentration levels and information on health endpoints such as hospital admissions or registered COPD cases. There is currently a mismatch between he spatial and temporal resolution of air pollution information and the information needed for long-term health studies aimed at large groups of people (cohorts). How can we optimize the available information by using regression methods?

What will be your role?

You will sort out how regression-based methods can optimally use increasingly refined data that is coming from air pollution dispersion models.

Regression-based methods (e.g. LUR, machine learning etc) are capable of producing models to predict long-term (i.e. annual, monthly) air pollution concentrations. We would like to use emission data with high spatiotomporal to improve the resolution of regression-based methods and produce concentration maps for PM10/PM2.5. The result will be compared with simulations from the air quality model LOTOS_EUROS in which local PM measurement network dates are integrated by data assimilation. To investigate how the higher resolution model affects the potential health impact, the concentration data of the traditional and new algorithm are combined with population information to calculate the modified intake factor, i.e. inhaled pollution by the population, and study the effect on Disability Adjusted Life Years (DALY)

How do you want to contribute to tomorrow's world? How big can your impact be? Come and work at TNO and envision it.

What we expect from you

  • Programming skills in R or python, handling of large data sets
  • Affinity with air quality
  • High motivation, with a curious nature and a taste for problem-solving
  • Ability to work autonomously and good social skills to interact with the team and get the information you need.
  • You need to be affiliated with a university during the internship for eligibility

What you’ll get in return

You want to work on the precursor of your career; a work placement gives you an opportunity to take a good look at your prospective future employer. TNO goes a step further. It’s not just looking that interests us; you and your knowledge are essential to our innovation. That’s why we attach a great deal of value to your personal and professional development. You will, of course, be properly supervised during your work placement and be given the scope for you to get the best out of yourself. Naturally, we provide suitable work placement compensation.

TNO as an employer

At TNO, we innovate for a healthier, safer and more sustainable life. And for a strong economy. Since 1932, we have been making knowledge and technology available for the common good. We find each other in wonder and ingenuity. We are driven to push boundaries. There is all the space and support for your talent and ambition. You work with people who will challenge you: who inspire you and want to learn from you. Our state-of-the-art facilities are there to realize your vision. What you do at TNO matters: impact makes the difference. Because with every innovation you contribute to tomorrow’s world. Read more about TNO as an employer.

At TNO we encourage an inclusive work environment, where you can be yourself. Whatever your story and whatever unique qualities you bring to the table. It is by combining our unique strengths and perspectives that we are able to develop innovations that make a real difference in society. Want to know more? Read what steps we are taking in the area of diversity and inclusion.

The selection process

After the first CV selection, the application process will be conducted by the concerning department. TNO will provide a suitable internship agreement. If you have any questions about this vacancy, you can contact the contact person mentioned below.

Due to Covid-19 and the consequent uncertainties and restrictions, students who are not residing in the Netherlands may currently not be able to start an internship or graduation project at TNO.

Has this job opening sparked your interest?

Then we’d like to hear from you! Please contact us for more information about the job or the selection process. To apply, please upload your CV and covering letter using the ‘apply now’ button.

Contact: Bas Henzing
Phone number: +31 (0)6-117 83139

Note that applications via email and third party applications are not taken into consideration.


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Dr. Bas Henzing

  • (nano) particles
  • atmospheric composition
  • aerosol observations
  • air quality modelling
  • and satellite observations

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