Catherine Noakes

Catherine Noakes OBE is a chartered mechanical engineer and was one of the six Guest Lecturers for the 2021 CHRISTMAS LECTURES.

Catherine Noakes with a short blond bob haircut and a chunky necklace smiling
Credit: Leeds University

Catherine Noakes, OBE FREng FIMechE, is Professor of Environmental Engineering for Buildings at the University of Leeds. She is also Fellow of the Institute of Mechanical Engineers and was appointed as a Fellow of the Royal Academy of Engineering in September 2021.

A chartered mechanical engineer with a background in fluid dynamics, Catherine’s research expertise is in building physics and environmental engineering, in particular exploring the transport of airborne pathogens, the influence of indoor airflows and effectiveness of engineering approaches such as ventilation to controlling airborne disease transmission.

During the pandemic, Catherine has applied her knowledge to understanding the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus including the importance of ventilation in reducing the risk of inhaling small particles containing the virus. Since April 2020 she has co-chaired the Environment and Modelling sub-group of the UK government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) providing advice on how the virus transmits and the best strategies to control the spread.