WGU academic contributes to top cited paper

A university academic is celebrating after contributing to a paper relating to Covid-19 pandemic modelling which has been ranked in the top five most highly cited by the Royal Society – the world’s oldest scientific academy.

Alison McMillan, Professor of Aerospace Technology at Wrexham Glyndwr University (WGU), was one of a number of authors who contributed to a paper entitled ‘The ventilation of buildings and other mitigating measures for Covid-19: a focus on wintertime’.

The paper, which was published in 2021 following a callout from The Royal Society to mathematicians and others for rapid assistance in modelling the pandemic, was confirmed as one of the top five most highly cited last year.

It reviewed knowledge of the transmission of Covid-19 indoors, examined evidence for mitigating measures, and considered the implications for wintertime with a focus on ventilation.

Professor McMillan’s contribution focussed on modelling SARS-CoV-2 virus containing droplets on hard surfaces, as well as transmission via aerosols in the context of singing, and woodwind and brass musical instruments.

Alison said: “I’m extremely pleased that our multi-author paper has been recognised in this way, particularly as it was work that we all felt was having an impact at a particularly challenging time for everybody.

“The callout came during the height of the first lockdown, when many of us were feeling pretty hopeless and wondering how we could help in some way, so of course I jumped at the chance to be part of it.

“It was great to work on alongside so many others – and this recognition rounds off that experience. Many congratulations to Dr Henry Burridge from Imperial College London, who is lead author of the paper, as well as all other colleagues involved.”

Professor John Brewer, interim Associate Dean for Research in the Faculty of Arts, Science and Technology (FAST) at WGU, added: “This is a fantastic example of WGU working with a number of major university partners on this collaborative paper, particularly as we were the only Welsh university involved.

“Congratulations to Professor McMillan and the team for this superb recognition of their paper.”

This recognition follows hot on the heels of Professor McMillan being runner-up in WGU’s Visualising Research competition, which was held earlier this year.

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