Internship | Human health footprints caused by priority air pollutants in Europe

How do our activities and consumption resulting in pollutant and greenhouse gas emissions affect the health of others? Does it matter when and where these activities take place?



Education type

university (wo)


Internship and graduation project

Hours a week

Fulltime – 40


Apply now


What will you be doing?

Problem description: Consumption in a region, such as Gelderland, affects not only humans in the region itself, but also at all other places around the world, taking into account import and export of goods and service [1]. The environmental footprint of a region can be quantified as the environmental impacts directly and indirectly caused by final consumption in that region. Footprints are already calculated for many pressures, including greenhouse gas emissions, land use and water consumption but not directly for human health effects caused by priority air pollutant emissions, such as fine particulate matter, nitrogen oxide, ammonia and sulfur dioxide emissions.

Goal: The aim of this research project is to quantify the human health footprint of subnational regions in Europe, accounting for priority air emissions in these regions and abroad. Sector-specific emissions in each region and related exposure patterns will be derived with LOTOS-EUROS, the in-house air quality model from TNO [2]. The human years health loss connected to exposure to primary and secondary aerosols in the air will be derived from existing exposure-response relationships, comparable to the approach in Van Zelm et al. [3]. 

[1] H. C. Wilting, A. M. Schipper, M. Bakkenes, J. R. Meijer, and M. A. J. Huijbregts, “Quantifying Biodiversity Losses Due to Human Consumption: A Global-Scale Footprint Analysis,” Environ. Sci. Technol., vol. 51, no. 6, pp. 3298–3306, 2017, doi: 10.1021/acs.est.6b05296.
[2] A. M. M. Manders et al., “Curriculum Vitae of the LOTOS-EUROS (v2.0) chemistry transport model,” Geosci. Model Dev. Discuss., pp. 1–53, 2017, doi: 10.5194/gmd-2017-88.G.
[3] Rosalievan Zelm, PhilippPreiss, Thomasvan Goethem, RitaVan Dingenen, MarkHuijbregts . Regionalized life cycle impact assessment of air pollution on the global scale: Damage to human health and vegetation. Atmospheric Environment Volume 134, June 2016, Pages 129-137.

What do we require of you?

  • model-oriented thinking
  • interdisciplinary communication skills
  • good oral and written command of English
  • programming experience is advantageous
  • intrinsic interest in understanding relations between emissions and human health

What can you expect of your work situation?

TNO is an independent research organisation whose expertise and research make an important contribution to the competitiveness of companies and organisations, to the economy and to the quality of society as a whole. Innovation with purpose is what TNO stands for. With 3000 people we develop knowledge not for its own sake but for practical application. To create new products that make life more pleasant and valuable and help companies innovate. To find creative answers to the questions posed by society. We work for a variety of customers: governments, companies, service providers and non-governmental organisations. Working together on new knowledge, better products and clear recommendations for policy and processes. In everything we do, impact is the key. Our product and process innovations and recommendations are only worth something if our customers can use them to boost their competitiveness. 

In CAS enthusiastic researchers from a large range of disciplines work on understanding, predicting in reducing divers pressures on the environment. You will find helping hands were needed, if you ask for it. Air quality modelers work on priority pollutants, trace emissions, source apportioning and assimilation of new arising data sources. LCA specialist translate changes in the environment to impacts. High quality work is combined with applications.

What can TNO offer you?

You want to work on the precursor of your career; an internship 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 internship and be given the scope for you to get the best out of yourself. Naturally, we provide suitable internship compensation.

Has this vacancy sparked your interest?

Then please feel free to apply on this vacancy! For further questions don’t hesitate to contact us.

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.

Contact: Mara Hauck
Phone number: +31 (0)6-152 06403

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


Apply now



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