Professor Tim Sharpe has been presented with a World Health Organisation (WHO) Europe award in recognition for his work during the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Head of Architecture at Strathclyde, who specialises in indoor ventilation and transmission, has been a member of the WHO-Europe High-Level European Expert Covid-19 Group since 2021.

The Group was convened by the Regional Director of WHO Europe Dr Hans Henri P. Kluge in summer 2021 to identify strategic directions towards COVID-19 stabilisation in Europe with the twin purposes of providing aspirational targets for the region and recommending a pragmatic approach based on the use of existing and new tools to come. 

At the latest group meeting in UN City Copenhagen, the professor was presented with an award for his contribution by Dr Kluge.

Critical response

Professor Sharpe said: “It has been a great honour to contribute to this important group, and it is very rewarding to see issues around the impacts on the built environment being recognised as critical to the pandemic response.”

Professor Sharpe’s expertise around ventilation and health in buildings also led to his appointment to the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) as part of the Environment and Modelling Group in April 2020. He attended regular group meetings between April and February 2022 and contributed his research-informed expertise to the production of 27 papers relating to COVID-19 transmission.

Public health

The professor also contributed to public health messaging and campaigns about ventilation at home, through public information campaigns. He also chaired the Scottish Government Working Group on Ventilation in Autumn 2021 which led to a £25M fund for businesses to improve ventilation.

Research into ventilation undertaken by the University also helped shape UK Government policy and public health advice to reduce COVID-19 transmission.