University students to research indoor air quality and occupant safety.

ATLANTA - Twelve students were approved to receive a total of $100,000 through the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers' grants-in-aid program, which will provide students with the opportunity to continue their education by researching indoor air quality on planes and homes, and how to protect occupants in government buildings.

The recipients were chosen by the society's research-administration committee at the winter meeting Feb. 5-9 in Orlando, Fla. The grants are awarded to full-time graduate students of ASHRAE-related programs. Results from the projects may be incorporated in the ASHRAE Handbook, a widely used reference book in the HVACR industry.

At Pennsylvania State University, students will study biocontaminant dispersion and ventilation for air recirculation cutoff in case of an air-system hazard.

"To keep occupants safe, air systems need to be upgraded just as surveillance and weapon detection systems have been upgraded in the past few years," said Tracey Nawrocki of PSU.

According to Nawrocki, the university research will focus on investigation of new sensor technology and guidelines for preparing existing variable-air-volume systems for response to contaminant dispersion in moderate-risk office buildings.

Other funded projects include installing ventilated windows to improve IAQ in residential buildings by Jennifer Gosselin of Purdue University, and a study on the spread of airborne pollutants from their sources in airline cabins by Aijun Wang from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.