National Physical Laboratory

Rod Robinson


Rod Robinson

Rod Robinson is a Principal Research Scientist at NPL and a Team Leader for Environmental Monitoring using DIAL (Differential Absorption Lidar). In addition to his role at NPL, Rod is Vice Chairman of the CEN Committee for Air Quality TC 264.

Current interests

Rod has over 20 years' experience with NPL, covering all aspects of environmental monitoring. He is technically responsible for all NPL contracts on remote environmental sensing and is recognised as a leading international authority on the practical application of DIAL. Rod works with the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the EPA's National Optical Sensing Workgroup, and he has been instrumental in obtaining EPA approval for the DIAL technique in the USA and has led eight long DIAL campaigns in the US and Canada since 2007.


Rod has an MSc in Astronomical Technology from Edinburgh University and a BSc in Astronomy and Astrophysics from the University of Newcastle.

He designed and built the data acquisition and analysis systems for the NPL DIAL facility; and has taken part in over 25 monitoring campaigns with the DIAL facility, at refineries, coking plants, petroleum products storage and handling facilities and landfill sites.

Rod is pioneering work to measure diffuse greenhouse gas emissions and he is the first to apply the DIAL technique to measuring carbon dioxide emissions from industrial facilities. Rod is part of the Management Team of the Carbon Measurement Centre at NPL.

Rod is an international authority on industrial emissions measurements and is on the Management Board of the UK's Source Testing Association. He has previously been the Quality Officer and Chairman. He consults for the UK Environment Agency in this context, and has been invited to give a keynote presentation at the last four annual conferences of the US Source Evaluation Agency.

Rod also has wide experience of instrument development projects and is highly regarded as a gas measurement specialist. He developed breath alcohol test equipment to simulate human breath samples for the type approval of evidential breath analysers to UK Home Office test specifications.

Recent publications

  • Infrared differential absorption Lidar (DIAL) measurements of hydrocarbon emission
    Robinson, Rod; Gardiner, Tom; Innocenti, Fabrizio; et al
    Journal of Environmental Monitoring, Volume 13, Issue 8, pages 2213-2220, 2011
  • A harmonized European framework for method validation to support research on emerging pollutants
    Schwesig, David; Borchers, Ulrich; Chancerelle, Laure; et al
    TrAC Trends in Analytical Chemistry, Volume 30, Issue 8, Special Issue, pages 1233-1242, Sep 2011
  • A lightweight near-infrared spectrometer for the detection of trace atmospheric species
    Gardiner, T.; Mead, M. I.; Garcelon, S.; et al
    Review of Scientific Instruments, Volume 81, Issue 8, Article No 083102, 2010
  • A novel calibration procedure for trace analytical measurements: application to the analysis of polybrominated diphenyl ethers by GC-MS
    Brown, Andrew S.; Brown, Richard J. C.; Robinson, Rod
    Analyst, Volume 132, Issue 9, pages 922-928, 2007

Contact details

Tel: 020 8943 6391

Last Updated: 9 Jan 2013
Created: 26 Mar 2012


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