Schools Weather and Air Quality
Schools Weather and Air Quality

Meet the team


network Project coordinator

Bronwen Smith

As the Sydney Weather and Air Quality's network project coordinator, Bronwen is the first point of contact and liaison for stakeholders and public, and is responsible for communications of project investigators to stakeholders. Bronwen also provides advice and administrative support to the SWAQ team.



SWAQ Investigator

Melissa Hart

Melissa is interested in the impact of cities on climate and climate on cities. With more than half of the world's population living in cities (close to 90% of us in Australia!), city dwellers experience a double whammy of climate impacts - global climate change due to increased greenhouse gas emissions AND local impacts from the urban heat island effect. Melissa works to understand these impacts and explore solutions that will make our cities more liveable and sustainable.

Melissa is also a strong supporter of gender equity in science and has recently returned from Antarctica on the Homeward Bound women in science leadership voyage. Ask her about penguins.



SWAQ investigator

Giovanni Di Virgilio

Giovanni started his career working in all weather conditions as a farm-hand in the beautiful fjords of Norway, which is when he first started taking a keen interest in meteorology and climate. He later undertook a PhD on the spatial ecology of Australasian flora and fauna and has since been adapting his research to focus on regional climate modelling and city-scale air quality. In his spare time Giovanni enjoys running, swimming and cooking with a penchant for South Indian curries.



sWAQ investigator

Angela Maharaj

Angela is a lecturer in the Climate Change Research Centre, School of BEES at UNSW Sydney. Her job includes a wide variety of activities from trying to understand the role of the ocean in climate variability, university learning and teaching and STEM outreach engagement around meteorology, oceanography and climate science. She is passionate about science literacy and is involved in several initiatives which aim to improve links between schools, universities and science research. Angela is the vice-president of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society, collects Labrador Retrievers and would love to see a weather station in every school in Australia




Marco Brozzetti

Marco is the SWAQ technical research assistant and is installing the SWAQ weather and air quality instruments. He has a background in industrial engineering with eight years of experience in manufacturing and production optimisation. Marco is currently undertaking an MBA at the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM - UNSW) with a specialization in technology. He is an excellent cook (because he is Italian) and is very amused by Australian place names (Woolloomooloo!).



Educational content and Web developer

David Webb

David is responsible for developing website content and collating resources specific to educational requirements for SWAQ. David graduated university in 2015 majoring in physics and mathematics, and is now doing his PhD in Climate Science at the University of New South Wales in Sydney. His interest in high impact science and education outreach led him to work with SWAQ alongside his PhD. He is both a country boy and a nerd at heart, filling his spare time with carpentry and building hobby electronics.


SWAQ Alumni


Geographical information System Analyst

Vandana Mann

Since completing her Masters in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) in 2012, Vandana has worked as a GIS Analyst in Academia as well as corporate organisations in India and Australia. She has interests in working with GIS as a tool for urban planning, and development of smart and resilient cities.



Technical officer

Michael Scollay

Michael's life-long passion is weather and climate, both its past and future. This is fulfilled by private projects and membership of the Australian Meteorological and Oceanographic Society and Australian Severe Weather Association. A Communications Engineering career spanned more than 30 years in Telstra, Ericsson, Vodafone and Optus. Scores of projects were successfully managed and completed while Telco Technologies evolved from Telex Machines to the Internet of Things (IoT). Recent years saw career diversification as a High School Business Manager, IT Consultant and Bus Driver before joining the SWAQ team to implement weather stations and air quality equipment.



research assistant

Jessica Hargreaves

Jess is a PhD student from the Australian National University in Canberra, primarily working in paleo climate (past climate changes). She spent her summer assisting in the development of SWAQ, particularly looking at the siting of weather instruments and identifying schools of interest. Jess is excited to see how the SWAQ program develops.



School Liaison officer

James Goldie

James is a PhD student with the Climate Change Research Centre. His research is about the health impacts of extreme heat and humidity and how those impacts will change in the future. He loves data visualisation and spends a lot of time looking for new ways to bring visualisation of climate data to others. As the School Liaison Officer, James is building relationships with schools around Sydney and helping to grow the SWAQ network.