Institute for Critical Technology and Applied Science
1145 Perry St. (0246)
Blacksburg, VA 24061
Air pollution is responsible for 8 million premature deaths per year. Developing accurate estimates of air pollutant emissions is critical for effective air quality management. We specialize in the following questions:
How much gaseous and particulate pollutants are emitted by sources such as motor vehicles, construction equipment, airports, agricultural activities, and entire cities?
How do these emissions affect ozone, particles, and other pollutants that form in the atmosphere?
How can we best link measures of air quality to health effects?
Bioaerosols are biological material, including bacteria, viruses, fungi, and parts of organisms, in the air. We are applying engineering tools to study the dynamics of bioaerosols in the atmosphere. We are working on the following questions:
How does ambient humidity affect transmission of the flu?
How are antimicrobial resistance genes released and transported in the atmosphere?
What types of viruses are present in the built environment, and what is their role?
Do toxins and cells produced by harmful algal blooms get into the atmosphere and present a risk to humans?
Nanomaterials originate from natural, incidental, and engineered sources. We are interested in the release, transformation, fate, and toxicity of nanomaterials in the atmosphere. Our projects address the following questions:
What are the characteristics and quantities of engineered nanomaterials released into air from the production, use, and disposal of consumer products?
How can we use nanotechnology to probe the chemistry of micron-scale droplets, and how does it vary spatially within droplets?