Conference Info

Schedule and Programme

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The 18th International conference on Harmonisation within Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling for Regulatory Purposes (Harmo 18) is aimed towards model developers, model users, environmental protection agencies and legislation experts. What distinguishes this conference from many others is its focus on common tools and methodologies.

Focus of the conference

The series of international conferences on Harmonisation within Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling for Regulatory Purposes is concerned with the improvement of “modelling culture” both in Europe and at an international level.

Dispersion modelling is widely used for regulatory purposes, both for permits and for assessments, but there is a lack of sufficient mechanisms to make modelling processes transparent and ensure trust in modelling results.

There are many open questions and aspects of this, such as: Are the models scientifically sound for the purpose they are used? Are the models validated against observations or physical experiments? Are the models properly used by the experts? Are the users familiar with good practices and do they avoid bad practices? Are model developments sufficiently quality assured? Are reference problems established? Is proper exchange of experiences ensured? Work on these questions is needed in order to assess the air quality impacts on society and nature, on human health, biodiversity and climate.

Such issues that are not specific for one particular model, but common to several, are in focus at the 18th International conference on Harmonisation within Atmospheric Dispersion Modelling for Regulatory Purposes.

The series of Harmonisation conferences started in 1991 (see and is a natural forum for discussing modelling issues related to the European Union air quality directives. European networks such as the FAIRMODE network and COST Actions can use the conference in order to expose their work to a wider audience.

The Harmonisation conferences provide the ground where model users and decision-makers can bring their requirements to the attention of scientists and search together for better regulatory tools and indicators for the diverse impacts of air quality.

Abstract submission

Short abstracts of maximum 350 words should be submitted by March 20, 2017 through the Abstract Submission Page with indication of preference for oral or poster presentation and topic.

Sessions will be organised within the following topics:

  • Model evaluation and quality assurance – model validation, model intercomparisons, model uncertainties and model sensitivities.
  • Environmental impact assessment: Air pollution management and decision support systems.
  • Use of modelling in support of EU air quality directives, including FAIRMODE activities.
  • Parametrization of physical processes in mesoscale meteorology relevant for air quality modelling.
  • Urban scale and street canyon modelling: Meteorology and air quality.
  • Use of modelling in health and exposure assessments
  • Inverse dispersion modelling and source identification.
  • Modelling air dispersion and exposure to accidental releases.
  • Modelling of passive control systems (PCS) including nature-based solutions in dispersion studies
  • Mathematical problems in air quality modelling.
  • Highlights of past work. Session devoted to reviews and to prominent scientists and ‘golden papers’ of the past, which have still relevance and should not be forgotten.

The basic criteria when selecting papers for oral presentations is how well they fit into the philosophy of developing an improved modelling culture where modellers as well as regulators and users will efficiently use each other’s experience. When submitting abstracts authors are requested to motivate how their paper relates to the underlying main theme of the conference: Harmonisation within modelling in a broad sense (see the template for abstract submission).

Special sessions may be arranged on model evaluation exercises and other topics within the scope of the conference. If you have suggestions for special sessions please contact the organisers as soon as possible. Information on special sessions and exercises will be posted on the conference web site and in the second announcement.


Important Dates

  • Short abstracts (less than 350 words) should be submitted by March 20, 2017
  • Confirmation for acceptance of contributions will be made by May 31, 2017.
  • Five-page extended abstracts should be submitted by September 5, 2017.
  • Conference start: October 9, 2017.