Cambridge Environmental Research Consultants was established in 1985 with the aim of making use of new developments in environmental research from Cambridge University and elsewhere for practical purposes.
The company is an SME (small and medium enterprise) with over 20 high level technical consultants. It has two technical directors at the forefront of their fields: Professor Julian Hunt, FRS, who acts as chairman, and Dr. David Carruthers, who is CERC's Managing and Technical Director. The Financial Director is Tim Newton. The company offices are located opposite King's College in the centre of Cambridge.
CERC has a leading position in environmental software development and associated consultancy. This has been achieved by encapsulating advanced scientific research into a number of computer models, providing user-friendly front-ends on PC based Windows platforms. The most well known of these is the Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling System (ADMS), of which there are now hundreds of licensed users worldwide. Other models include EMIT (atmospheric emissions), GASTAR for dense gas releases, LSMS for liquid spills and FLOWSTAR for flow over complex terrain with wind energy applications.
Developers of ADMS
The ADMS suite of models developed by CERC includes ADMS-Screen, ADMS 5, ADMS-Roads, ADMS-Urban and ADMS-Airport; these models cater for problems of different complexity. ADMS-Screen is used to assess the potential impact of a single point source, ADMS 5 for assessing impacts of industrial sites, ADMS-Roads for road traffic emissions and ADMS-Urban is an air quality management system for complex combinations of emissions as occur in urban areas. ADMS-Airport was used to model impacts of emissions at London Heathrow Airport in advance of the consultation on the proposal for a third runway.
CERC provides a range of consultancy services using both its own and third party models. These include assessment of the impact of industrial emissions, for example to support an IPPC application, and assessment of the impact of traffic emissions generated by a proposed development, for example as part of an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for planning purposes. CERC has an active role in supporting Local Air Quality Management (LAQM) Review and Assessment work for local authorities, and extensive experience in emissions management and the compilation of emissions inventories of both toxic pollutants and greenhouse gases.
CERC undertakes research projects for Government Departments and Agencies and the European Union. Recent examples include the 18 month EuropeAid project Preparation of national emission reduction and ambient air quality assessment programmes, to assist the Republic of Lithuania in developing their system for emission control, air quality assessment and management and the setting up of an air quality forecasting system in Beijing in advance of the Olympic Games in 2008 for the European Space Agency (ESA).
Some of CERC's clients
- well known companies, such as BP, Johnson Matthey, Savills, BAA, British Sugar, Mouchel Dalkia, Jacobs;
- UK government departments and agencies (Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA), Department for Transport (DfT), Environment Agency, Food Standards Agency, Highways Agency);
- local government (a significant proportion of UK local authorities use ADMS-Urban for air quality review and assessment);
- international government departments, agencies and consultancies (e.g. European Union, Singapore National Environment Agency (NEA), ESA);
- universities and government institutes—research applications of CERC software and collaborative research.
Projects have been undertaken in numerous countries including many in Europe, China including Hong Kong, Malaysia, Thailand, India and the USA.