Openair training


Understanding air quality data with openair

Aimed at those wanting to better understand their air quality data with minimal introduction to R. This course will focus on using the latest extensive air quality data sources available through openair, to access vast amounts of opensource UK air quality information. More emphasis is placed on:

•    Interpretation of air quality data
•    The science of air pollution
•    How to approach air quality data analysis

Learning is aided through the study of case study examples.

Total contact time: 12 hrs
Format: online only

(Nb: no knowledge of R is required to attend)  

Training dates & fees
Online Training

Course topics

Identify and access useful air quality data relevant to your reporting and/or analysis needs.

  • Find out how to access data from 100s of sites in the UK using new, easy to use openair functions.
  • Use openairmaps to rapidly gain information on what air quality data is available and where.
  • Examine the different data types available – from hourly to pre-calculated statistics.
  • Export data for further analysis in other software (e.g. excel spreadsheets).

  • Source characteristics and how they vary.  
  • Polar plots – principles in terms of plume dispersion; isolation and quantification of dominant sources.

  • Calendar plots and time variations – what they say about sources. 
  • Trend analysis and interpretation – looking at the nature of air.
  • Pollutant concentration changes and the strength of changes over time.  

  • Data filtering for more focused analysis e.g. examining specific time periods.
  • Conditional analysis using the ‘type’ option (e.g. conditioning by season, day of the week, wind direction, etc.).
  • Combined multiple approaches for data filtering and interpretation.

                               Training dates & fees

Training dates

The next Ricardo openair training course will take place on the following dates:

Course: Understanding air quality data with openair


  • Monday 18 March, 2024
  • Tuesday 19 March, 2024
  • Monday 25 March, 2024

Time: 10.00am – 4.00pm 
(Includes 2 hour break between morning and afternoon sessions)

Location: Teams (online)

Fee: £400

Book your place

EMAQ member? Book this course using 4 credits

Tailored training (groups of 10+)

Due to the bespoke nature of Ricardo’s in-person group training, the schedule for delivery is agreed in-line with customer needs.

Training is usually run over a series of consecutive full or half day sessions that can be delivered at Ricardo premises, customer premises, third-party venue or remotely. Contact us for more information.

Total contact time: tailored to suit requirements
Format: available online or in-person

*Please note, this service is more suited to groups of 10 people are more.


Learn from the lead developer of openair and R expert

Ricardo’s openair and R training is delivered by tutors Prof David Carslaw, the lead developer of openair, and R expert Dr Jack Davison. Being developers of the software, David and Jack are ideally placed to offer users practical training on how to approach data analysis; the best tools and techniques to use to yield the most insight; and how to critically review and interpret data in a meaningful way.

A large proportion of training consists of practical exercises during which users will benefit from the opportunity to practise advanced analysis techniques and approaches using their own data. Learning within a familiar context encourages better understanding and knowledge retention.



Impact of training

“[I have a] much better understanding of the full functionality of openair and openair maps, as well as de-weathering processes. Also, picked up some new tips and tricks for R I hadn't come across before.” Anon, Defra, Sept 2022

“I look forward to applying what I’ve learnt to my work to automate data analysis.” Anon, Defra, Sept 2022

“The content was really useful. I feel capable of doing my own analysis.” M. Muguerza, Warwickshire, Sept 2022

“I can use openair for analysis of data, and I feel I also gained more knowledge of R.” M. Muguerza, Warwickshire, Sept 2022

“This will enable improved data analysis in my team so will be taking back learning to improve processes.” Anon, Defra, Sept 2022


“It’s good for learning R from scratch. Very relevant to air quality/met data analysis” K. Milczewska, UKHSA, Feb 2023

“Useful for environmental pollution work and air quality” H. Taylor, UKHSA, Feb 2023

“A really interesting course which takes your data analysis to the next level.” Anon, Defra, Sept 2022

“Very knowledgeable and approachable facilitators.” Anon, Defra, Sept 2022

“Really helpful at supporting individual questions/challenges” H. Taylor, UKHSA, Feb 2023

“Very knowledgeable tutors who were flexible in what they covered to meet our needs.” Anon, Defra, Sept 2022

Book your place

2024/25 Subscription Year

- If you are buying only credits, then you do not need to state what seminar, webinar or toolbox talk is required
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