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Airborne cross infection and engineering solutions


The COVID-19 pandemic raises the publics’ attention on cross infections in the indoor environment. WHO has identified airborne transmission as a principal route for SARS-CoV-2, especially in crowded and poorly ventilated indoor environments. In fact, airborne transmission is one of the primary routes for many infectious diseases, such as anthrax, chickenpox, and influenza. The airborne cross-infection risk between people is influenced by many parameters, such as distance, relative position, respiratory activities, room ventilation, face mask, or other protection equipment. Effective control of these influencing factors can be important to mitigate airborne transmission risk between people. Many prevention measures were recommended by authorities during COVID-19, but their protective effects regarding airborne transmission are still under discussion.

The main objective of this workshop is to discuss the mechanism of airborne transmission and the engineering control solutions.  Through the discussion, the workshop will find out some effective and efficient control measures to reduce airborne cross-infection risk. Discussion topics include:

  1. What are the parameters influencing the cross-infection risk?
  2. What are the challenges to reduce infection risk indoors?
  3. How to design indoor airflow distribution to reduce the indoor exposure?
  4. Are there any other engineering control solutions and what are their efficiency?
  5. Where these engineering control solutions may be applied


The main objective of this workshop is to discuss the mechanism of airborne transmission and the engineering control solutions. 


    1. Opening. Alireza Afshari, Aalborg University, Denmark
    2. Human exposure against airborne pathogens in office environment. Risto Kosonen, Aalto University, Finland
    3. Questions and discussion
    4. Discussion on minimum ventilation rates for infection control. Yuguo Li, University of Hong Kong, Hong Kong
    5. Questions and discussion
    6. Mitigation of airborne transmission of respiratory viruses by ventilation – past, present and future. Arsen Krikor Melikov, Technical University of Denmark, Denmark
    7. Questions and discussion
    8. Point source ventilation effectiveness in infection risk-based post-COVID ventilation design. Jarek Kurnitski, Tallinn University of Technology, Estonia
    9. Airborne transmission of disease in stratified and non-stratified flow. Peter V. Nielsen, Aalborg University, Denmark
    10. Questions and discussion
    11. Discussion with the audience


    1. Peter V. Nielsen, Aalborg University, Demark
    2. Chen Zhang, Aalborg University, Denmark


90 minutes

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Prof. Sani Dimitroulopoulou (UK Health Security Agency, UKHSA)

Sani is a Principal Environmental Public Health Scientist, Air Quality and Public Health, UKHSA (formerly Public Health England, PHE) leading on indoor air quality and health.
She is also Visiting Professor, at Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering, The Bartlett School of Environment, Energy and Resources, UCL.
Her research interests include exposure assessment to air pollution, based on modelling and monitoring of outdoor and indoor air pollution and ventilation, health impact assessments and development of environmental public health indicators and indoor air quality guidelines.
She works closely with colleagues from UK Government Departments (e.g. DHSC, DfE, DLUHC, Defra, DESNZ) and Organisations (e.g. WHO, NICE, CIBSE, RCP/RCPCH, BSI) to provide expert advice on indoor air quality and health. She participated in the Cross Whitehall Group for the revision of the Building Regulations, Part F and she sits on the Advisory Board organised by DLUHC for the revision of HHSRS (Housing Health and Safety Rating System). She was the UKHSA project manager for the development of the DHSC/UKHSA/DLUHC guidance on “Damp and mould: understanding and addressing the health risks for rented housing providers”. She is the Chair of UK Indoor Environments Group (UKIEG).

Dr. Ana Maria Scutaru

Ana Maria Scutaru is a scientist at the German Environment Agency (UBA) in Berlin. She received her PhD in Pharmaceutical Chemistry from the Institute of Pharmacy at the Freie Universität Berlin in 2011. Her work focuses on the health-related evaluation of building products emissions into indoor air and other indoor air related topics. Ana Maria Scutaru is the secretary of the Committee for Health-related Evaluation of Building Products (AgBB) and of the EU-LCI Working Group within the harmonisation framework for health-based evaluation of indoor emissions from construction products in the European Union.

Corinne Mandin earned her PhD in environmental chemistry from the University of Rennes, France.
She has been working on human exposure to chemical substances and physical agents and the related health effects, first at INERIS (French national institute for industrial environment and risks) for 8 years, and then at CSTB (French scientific and technical center for building) for 13 years. At CSTB, she coordinated the French Indoor Air Quality Observatory, a public research program created in 2001 to carry out nationwide surveys on air quality in buildings. In 2022, she joined the French institute for radiation protection and nuclear safety (IRSN) where she leads the radiation epidemiology group.
She has been involved in various European and international projects and expert committees, including at the World Health Organization and the European Joint Research Center. She is currently chairing the expert committee dedicated to outdoor and indoor air quality at the French Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety (Anses). She was president of the International Society for Indoor Air Quality and Climate (ISIAQ) from 2020 to 2022. In 2022, she coedited the Handbook of Indoor Air Quality (Springer).