Our Mission

Our mission is to use engineering fundamentals to solve air pollution problems that we face as a society. We are a multidisciplinary group that values hard work, innovation, and a sense of play. Our research is designed to make a positive impact on our health and welfare. Learn More

Our Work

Our work is best described as Engineering for Public Health.  When asked to imagine scientific discoveries that have led to dramatic improvements to public health, what comes to mind? Often, people point to vaccine discoveries or antimicrobial drugs; certainly those biomedical discoveries have saved countless lives.  But what about the seat belt? Or the refrigerator? The catalytic converter? Chlorinated drinking water?  Each of these engineering discoveries has also saved the lives of millions. We have known for hundreds of years that our external environment shapes the picture of our health. Today, the need for public health engineers is greater than ever.

Our group is developing the next generation of innovative leaders armed with the interdisciplinary skills needed to solve today’s complex public and environmental health problems. Our specific interests lie with air pollution, which places a tremendous burden on the health of our communities, our workforce, and our environment. Humans are exposed to air pollution from a variety of sources in nearly every aspect of life: at work, home, and outdoors. As researchers, our goals are 1) to understand the adverse impacts of air pollution on human and environmental health and 2) to engineer solutions to the air pollution problems we face as a society.



Projects

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Developing the next generation of Wearable Sensors Learn More
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Improving global air quality through Improved Cookstoves Learn More

The Team

Dr. John Volckens
Professor, Mechanical Engineering
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Dr. Christian L'Orange
Associate Director, Center for Energy Development & Health
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John Mehaffy
Lab Manager
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Nicholas Good
Research Scientist
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Casey Quinn
Phd Candidate
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Kristen Fedak
Phd Candidate
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Kelsey Bilsback
Phd Candidate
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Ethan Walker
PhD Student
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Eric Wendt
Masters Student
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The Firepower Sweep Test: A Novel Approach to Cookstove Laboratory Testing

Bilsback K. et al.

Emissions from solid-fuel cookstoves have been linked to indoor and outdoor air pollution, climate forcing, and human disease. Multiple-firepower testing has been proposed as an alternative to the WBT and is the basis for a new standardized protocol (ISO 19867-1:2018); however, data are needed to assess the value of this approach. In this work, we (1) developed a Firepower Sweep Test [FST], (2) compared emissions from the FST, WBT, and in-home cooking, and (3) quantified the relationship between firepower and emissions using correlation analysis and linear model selection.

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Exposure to household air pollution from biomass‐burning cookstoves and HbA1c and diabetic status among Honduran women

Rajkumar S. et al.

Household air pollution from biomass cookstoves is estimated to be responsible for more than two and a half million premature deaths annually, primarily in low and middle‐income countries where cardiometabolic disorders, such as Type II Diabetes, are increasing. Growing evidence supports a link between ambient air pollution and diabetes, but evidence for household air pollution is limited. This cross‐sectional study of 142 women (72 with traditional stoves and 70 with cleaner‐burning Justa stoves)…

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Quantifying the contribution to uncertainty in mortality attributed to household, ambient, and joint exposure to PM2.5 from residential solid-fuel use

Kodros J. et al.

Abstract: While there have been substantial efforts to quantify the health burden of exposure to PM2.5from solid-fuel use (SFU), the sensitivity of mortality estimates to uncertainties in input parameters has not been quantified. Moreover, previous studies separate mortality from household and ambient air pollution. In this study, we develop a new estimate of mortality attributable to SFU due to the joint exposure from household and ambient PM2.5 pollution and perform a variance-based sensitivity analysis on mortality attributable to SFU.

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An accurate filter loading correction is essential for assessing personal exposure to black carbon using an Aethalometer

Good, N. et al.

Abstract: The AE51 micro-Aethalometer (microAeth) is a popular and useful tool for assessing personal exposure to particulate black carbon (BC). However, few users of the AE51 are aware that its measurements are biased low (by up to 70%) due to the accumulation of BC on the filter substrate over time; previous studies of personal black carbon exposure are likely to have suffered from this bias…

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CONTACT US

430 N. College Ave

Fort Collins CO

80525