Tom McElroy

NSERC/ABB/CSA Industrial Research Chair in Atmospheric Remote Sounding



Climate change, ozone depletion, ultraviolet (UV) exposure and air-quality issues are all of great importance to every Canadian citizen; indeed, to the entire global community. The ability to predict changes in our environment—which depends on an in-depth understanding of the processes controlling climate and on observations of the climate system—is critical for positioning our society to function adequately in the face of the environmental pressures on our economic and social systems.

Canada also has an international responsibility to maintain the technical capacity to monitor ozone and its recovery under the terms of The 1987 Montreal Protocol on Substances that Deplete the Ozone Layer to protect the ozone layer. Work supported by the Chair will contribute to that Canadian domestic capacity. The long-term maintenance of a capability to monitor ozone and UV radiation is a key to continuing the UV Index Sun Awareness Program for educating and protecting all Canadian citizens.

The objective of this Industrial Research Chair is to design, build and ultimately deploy new, innovative remote-sounding instruments that will address significant atmospheric themes involving climate change processes, air-quality issues and the recovery of the ozone layer. Instrumentation development will entail the identification of contemporary technologies for making novel use of the target observations, the design of innovative instruments to optimize the application of these technologies and the collection of data to be used in modelling and analysis in collaboration with scientists at York University and other institutions.

The development of technologies with commercial applications will be carried out with the industrial partner—ABB Bomem Inc.—and the resulting instruments made available to the global atmospheric community. These efforts, which will likely include participation in one or more space missions, will provide the opportunity to train highly qualified personnel, provide products to industry and promote research at York University and beyond.


About Tom McElroy

Professor McElroy is an internationally recognized expert in the development of measurement techniques that have advanced the fundamental knowledge of atmospheric science. McElroy is a co-inventor of the UV Index and the world’s most accurate ground-based, total ozone measuring instrument. He designed three successful space instruments that provide critical data for the protection of public health and the environment.