• CATE 22 – Keynote Speakers

    Ventilating for a safer future:

    Patrick Harvie spent his childhood in Dumbarton, and attended Dumbarton Academy followed by Manchester Metropolitan University.

    Before becoming an MSP he worked for a sexual health charity as an LGBT youth worker in Glasgow, and was involved in the campaign to repeal Section 28 during the Scottish Parliament’s first session.

    Patrick was elected as an MSP for the Glasgow region in 2003, has served as Convenor of the Transport, Infrastructure and Climate Change Committee during session 3, and as Co-Leader or Co-Convenor of the Scottish Green Party since 2008. He was appointed Minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights in August 2021.

    Lidia Morawska is Distinguished Professor at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia, and the Director of the International Laboratory for Air Quality and Health at QUT, which is a Collaborating Centre of the World Health Organization. Lidia also holds positions of Adjunct Professor, Institute for Environmental and Climate Research (ECI), Jinan University, Guangzhou, China, of Vice-Chancellor Fellow, Global Centre for Clean Air Research (GCARE), University of Surrey, UK. She is a co-director of the Australia-China Centre for Air Quality Science and Management She conducts fundamental and applied research in the interdisciplinary field of air quality and its impact on human health and the environment, with a specific focus on science of airborne particulate matter. She is a physicist and received her doctorate at the Jagiellonian University, Krakow.  An author of over nine hundred journal papers, book chapters and refereed conference papers, Lidia has been involved at the executive level with a number of relevant national and international professional bodies, is a member of the Australian Academy of Science and a recipient of numerous scientific awards. 

    Yuguo Li is a Chair Professor of Building Environment, and Honorary Professor of School of Public Health, The University of Hong Kong. With a fluid dynamics background, he has a particular research interest on how air moves in a broad length scale of natural and human-made spaces, including lungs, rooms, buildings and cities; and associated transport of heat, moisture and aerosols that impacts on human health and comfort. His team has been studying the mechanisms of transmission routes, i.e. short- and long-range airborne transmission, surface touch transmission and large droplet transmission of respiratory and enteric transmission such as influenza, coronaviruses (SARS, MERS) and noroviruses. The study carried out in his team defined concepts such as short-range aerosol transmission, surface touch network, particle transfer due to touch, and city ventilation. Their work led to the findings of the roles played by airflow and ventilation in the 2003 Amoy Gardens SARS outbreak and in some SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks in 2020.

    He currently serves as Editor-in-Chief of Indoor Air. He is a member of the WHO COVID-19 IPC guidance development group of experts and a member of Environment and Engineering Control Expert Advisory Panel (ECAP) for COVID-19

    Abstract: Stopping transmission can stop a pandemic. More than 16 months into the COVID-19 pandemic, the world leading health authorities have finally recognized the possible airborne and short-range inhalation routes. It is now known that ventilation impacts on both short- and long-range inhalation transmission (Li et al. 2021a), however the required ventilation rate(s) for infection control is still an on-going research topic. The speaker will summarize what they have learned from studying 20 SARS-CoV-2 outbreaks, explore how a continuum short- and long-range inhalation model can be used to reveal the need for ventilation, and discuss how we can ensure a safe future by ventilating better our indoor spaces (Li et al., 2021b).

    • Li, Y., Cheng, P. and Jia, W., 2021a. Poor ventilation worsens short‐range airborne transmission of respiratory infection. Indoor air.
    • Li Y, Nazaroff WW, Bahnfleth W, Wargocki P and Zhang Y. 2021b. The COVID‐19 pandemic is a global indoor air crisis that should lead to change: A message commemorating 30 years of Indoor Air. Indoor Air.

    Philomena Bluyssen:Prof. dr. Philomena M. Bluyssen received her Master’s of building engineering in 1986 at the Technical University of Eindhoven, and in 1990 her PhD at the Technical University of Denmark with a thesis on ‘Air quality evaluated by a trained panel’. After working for more than twenty years as researcher with TNO, where she coordinated among others several European projects on optimisation of Indoor environment quality and energy use, she was appointed full Professor Indoor Environment in 2012 at the Faculty of Architecture and the Built Environment, of the Delft University of Technology. At the TU Delft she initiated the SenseLab, a semi-lab environment sponsored by 25 companies and organisations, in which she recently performed research on airborne transmission of exhaled aerosols. In 2019 Bluyssen was appointed Visiting Professor at Feng Chia University in Taichung, Taiwan. Prof. Bluyssen is member of the (inter)national organisations TVVL, REVHA, ASHRAE, ISIAQ and CIB. She is co-founder of the Dutch ISIAQ chapter and was the first president of She has contributed and/or authored to more than 275 publications, and has been invited as guest, distinguished or keynote lecturer at several conferences and universities. For ‘The Indoor Environment Handbook: How to make buildings healthy and comfortable’, she received the Choice Outstanding Academic Titles of 2010 Award.’ Her book ‘The Healthy Indoor Environment – How to assess occupants’ wellbeing in buildings’, received the IDEC 2016 Book Award.

    Abstract: Since the first outbreaks of COVID-19, the question of how to minimize transmission of SARS-CoV-2 indoors has become one of paramount importance. SARS-CoV-2 has three possible transmission routes: 1) direct transmission of virus carrying droplets between people in close proximity, by coughing, sneezing or talking; 2) indirect transmission via deposited, or transmitted, infectious droplets via surfaces; 3) airborne transmission through virus carrying, small, airborne droplets (also named ‘aerosols’) emanating from infected individuals. As airborne transmission is now known to be the major source of transmissions, the background to airborne transmission research is outlined and measures to reduce airborne transmission are discussed. She reaffirms the urgency of providing pathogen safe, and comfortable buildings in the future. This will require both a better understanding of how pathogens spread within buildings, and reliable and resilient new ways of ventilating indoor spaces that are flexible, affordable, efficient and effective. It is clear that the question is not only ‘What ventilation rates, and strategies, are required to protect building occupants against infection transmission?’, but also ‘How would it be best to ventilate for different situations’?

    Stephanie J Danceris a medical microbiologist in NHS Lanarkshire and Professor of Microbiology at Edinburgh Napier University in Scotland. She edited the Journal of Hospital Infection for over 20 years, five of them as editor-in-chief, and now edits for Infection, Disease & Health and International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents. She trained at St. Bartholomew’s Hospital in London followed by postgraduate studies at Guy’s Hospital, where she gained a thesis on the epidemiology and biochemistry of toxin-producing staphylococci. She has worked and travelled all over the world, including the Canadian High Arctic, where she resuscitated 30,000-year-old organisms from glacial ice. She spent six years as Infection Control Officer for Argyll before moving to Health Protection Scotland as their inaugural microbiologist (2002-5). There, she set up MRSA surveillance for Scotland, evaluated real-time PCR for MRSA screening and helped establish the Scottish Microbiology Forum. She has been a member of national working groups on antibiotic prescribing, MRSA and hospital cleaning, and is a current or recent member of NHS Scotland Decontamination; UK NICE (infection control & antimicrobial prescribing); UK HTA (screening and diagnostics); ESCMID groups on infection control, MRSA & multi-resistant Gram-negative bacilli; and 2013 ECCMID conference committee. During the COVID-19 pandemic, she advised DEFRA on surface cleaning and hygiene and collaborated with an international group of virologists, physicists, ventilation engineers and aerosol scientists on airborne spread of SARS-CoV-2. She has published books, book chapters and around 200 papers in peer-reviewed journals on hospital cleaning, antimicrobial management, infection control and SARS-CoV-2. At present, she balances editorial duties with research and teaching, specifically antimicrobial stewardship and environmental control of hospital pathogens.

    Abstract: Professor Dancer’s talk on Healthcare-acquired clusters of COVID-19 across multiple wards in a Scottish health board Healthcare-acquired COVID-19 has been an additional burden on hospitals managing increasing numbers of patients with SARS-CoV-2. One acute hospital among three in a Scottish health board experienced an unexpected surge of COVID-19 clusters in December 2020, for which there was no apparent explanation. An investigation was launched in order to elicit total numbers of staff and patients involved in the clusters in all three hospitals and also in care homes across the health board. Daily surveillance provided baseline data, along with patient boarding, community infection rates and outdoor temperatures from October 2020 to March 2021. Selected SARS-CoV-2 strains were genotyped. The investigation identified nearly 20 COVID-19 clusters at one hospital during the six-month study, lasting 2-42 days (average: 5 days). COVID-19 clusters in the other two hospitals reflected community infection rates. An outbreak management team implemented a control package that included enhanced ventilation. Forty clusters occurred in all three hospitals before a January window opening policy, after which there were three during the remainder of the study. Mortality rates among patients decreased after implementation of the COVID-19 control package. This presentation will describe events in one health board due to COVID-19 and offer some practical recommendations for controlling similar outbreaks of respiratory infection in the future.

    • Dancer SJ, Cormack K, Loh M, Coulombe C, Thomas L, Pravinkumar SJ, Kasengele K, King MF, Keaney J. (2021). Healthcare-acquired clusters of COVID-19 across multiple wards in a Scottish health board, J Hosp Infect doi: 10.1016/j.jhin.2021.11.019.

    Clive Beggs is a bio-engineer and physiologist, and is Emeritus Professor of Applied Physiology at Leeds Beckett University in the UK. He has worked for many years on the transmission of infectious diseases and also in neurology, with several leading research groups around the world. He has a particular interest in the biophysics associated with infectious disease transmission and pioneered work at the universities of Leeds and Bradford on the use of air cleaning technologies to mitigate the transmission of infection in buildings. He is also an expert in machine learning and data science, which he regularly uses to gain novel insights when undertaking clinical research. Clive is currently working with research teams at Queen Mary University of London and Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge, investigating the use of air cleaning and disinfection technologies to mitigate the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in schools and hospitals. He also advises the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) and the Department for Education (DfE) in the UK on matters relating the COVID-19, as well as acting as a consultant to various corporate organizations.

    Professor Beggs’s Abstract: Impact of temperature and humidity on factors influencing transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus

    While the need for good ventilation to mitigate the transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in buildings is now well recognised, the role that temperature and humidity play in the spread of infection has been largely overlooked. However, there is increasing evidence that the COVID-19 pandemic has a seasonal component in temperate regions, with transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus greatly increasing when the air is cooler and drier. The reasons for this are not fully understood, but meta-analysis has shown that biological decay of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in aerosols is strongly associated with changes in enthalpy, vapour pressure and specific volume of the air (R2= 0.718, p< 0.001) [1], making it more likely that the viral dose inhaled is greater during the winter months. In addition, other biophysical and physiological mechanisms may be at work, which make individuals more vulnerable to contacting a viral infection during the winter. Furthermore, because the air is drier during the winter months in temperate countries, it means that even if the air is heated adequately conditions indoors may still be conducive to transmission of the SARS-CoV-2 virus, which is a major problem for those seeking to ventilate buildings during the wintertime. It may therefore be that room air cleaners have a specific role to play in supplementing building ventilation, particularly during the cooler months.

    • Beggs CB, Avital EJ. A psychrometric model to assess the biological decay of the SARS-CoV-2 virus in aerosols. PeerJ. 2021. 9:e11024

    Peter Holzer: Peter Holzer holds a degree in Mechanical Engineering (1994) and a doctorate in Architecture (2009), both at Technical University of Vienna. He works both in industry and academia where he worked in the Department of Building and Environment at Danube University Krems from 1996 to 2012 as research associate then head of department. He still teaches Building Physics and Building Services at the University of Applied Sciences, Campus Wien. Since 2011 he has been Managing Director of the Vienna branch of the IPJ Ingenieurbüro P. Jung, a consultancy office in building physics, indoor comfort and building energy systems and since 2013 is a shareholder of the Institute of Building Research & Innovation, a research entity specialized on sustainability of buildings. He is currently leading the IEA EBC Annex 80 on Resilient cooling of Buildings and has designed the extraordinary Austrian Pavilion at the Dubai Expo using highly innovative cooling and energy storage systems.

    Bjarne W. Olesen: is a Professor at the Technical University of Denmark, with a Master’s degree in Civil Engineering and a Ph.D. from the Laboratory of Heating and Air Conditioning at Technical University of Denmark where he was a research scientist from 1972-1990. He is part-time affiliate as product manager at Brüel & Kjaer from 1978-1992 and a senior research scientist at the College of Architecture, Virginia Tech. from 1992-1993. From 1993 to 2004 he was head of Research & Development at UPONOR-VELTA GmbH KG & Co., Norderstedt, Germany. Since January 2004 he has been a full professor of Indoor Environment & Energy at the Technical University of Denmark and past Director of the International Center for Indoor Environment and Energy, Technical University of Denmark. Awarded the Ralph Nevins Award (1982), Distinguish Service Award (1997), Fellow Award (2001) and Exceptional Service Award (2006) from ASHRAE. Honorary member of AICARR (Italy), SHASE (Japan) and VDI-TGA (Germany). Chivalric Order of Dannebrog, from the Danish Queen (2012). Doctor Honoris Causa, Slovak University of Technology. He was ASHRAE President 2017-18 being awarded the Andrew T. Boggs Award by ASHRAE in 202 and the Donald Bahnfleth Environmental Health Award-ASHRAE in 2021. He is active in several ASHRAE-CEN-ISO-DIN standard committees regarding indoor environment and energy performance of buildings and HVAC systems. Has published more than 400 papers including more than 90 in peer reviewed journals.

    Sue Roaf is Emeritus Professor of Architectural Engineering at Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh. She is an award winning author, teacher, architect and solar energy pioneer. Her 22 books includes: Ecohouse: A Design Guide; Adapting Buildings and Cites for Climate Change; Closing the Loop: Benchmarks for Sustainable Buildings, Energy Efficient Buildings, Adaptive Thermal Comfort and The Ice-Houses of Britain. She Chaired PLEA 2017 conference promoting natural energy buildings (, has Co-Chaired the Windsor Conferences on Comfort 1994 – 2020 ( and the Comfort at the Extremes Conference in Dubai 2019 ( Her presentation on Comfort Justice at COP26 is available on:

    Rajat Gupta  BArch MSc PhD FRSA, is Director of the multi-disciplinary Oxford Institute for Sustainable Development (OISD) and Low Carbon Building Research Group at Oxford Brookes University (Oxford, UK). He holds a senior professorial chair in sustainable architecture and climate change. Rajat’s research interests lie in evaluating building performance from a socio-technical perspective, smart local energy systems, local energy mapping, scaling up energy retrofits and tackling summertime overheating in homes and care settings. As Principal Investigator (PI) he has won over £13 million in research grants to investigate these subjects. See –

    Fergus Nicol Fergus is a Physicist and an Emeritus and Honorary Professor at several Universities including Heriot Watt University, London Metropolitan and Oxford Brookes Universities. He convenes NCEUB, the Network for Comfort and Energy use in Buildings and helped organise their regular international Windsor Conferences (see: He is best known for his work in human thermal comfort, principally the ‘adaptive’ approach. He has run a number of projects including the EU project Smart Controls and Thermal Comfort (SCATS) which is the basis of a new European Standard (EN15251) for comfort. Fergus helped develop the Masters course in energy efficient and sustainable buildings. He has co-authored numerous journal articles and other publications including the comfort chapter in CIBSE Guide A Fergus convenes the Network for Comfort and Energy use in Buildings and is organising their Conference on Adapting to Change: New Thinking on Comfort in Windsor in April 2010. He is a member of the CIBSE task force on overheating in buildings.

    Stefano Schiavon PhD, is Associate Professor of Architecture and Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Berkeley and Associate Director of CEDR. Stefano’s research is focused on finding ways to reduce energy consumption in buildings while improving occupant health, well-being and productivity. Stefano has researched sustainable architecture, air conditioning and satisfaction. He has experience in laboratory measurements, post-occupancy evaluation, and building performance simulation. Stefano is involved in the Center for the Built Environment and the SinBerBEST project. He earned a PhD in Energy Engineering (2008) and an MS in Mechanical Engineering (2005) with honors from the University of Padova, Italy.  He received the 2010 REHVA Young Scientist Award and 2013 ASHRAE Ralph Nevins Physiology and Human Environment Award. He won 3 best papers awards in 2018 from the Journal Building and Environment.

    Abstract: Cooling people with air movement, a sustainable and affordable alternative to AC

    We spend most of our time in built spaces that substantially affect our health, well-being, and productivity. Conditioning the built environment has a large influence on climate change, most of which comes from the energy used to create indoor comfort. The need for cooling has been increasing globally, with most of it happening in tropical countries because of their economic and demographic growth. How can we enhance occupant satisfaction without increasing buildings’ environmental impact even further? I will present strategies to reduce the impact of air conditioning and I will show why electric fans can be both an alternative to and augmentation of air conditioning. In a remarkable number of ways, they have the potential to simultaneously reduce energy use and increase thermal comfort. I will also show that the PMV/PPD thermal comfort model has low prediction accuracy and we do not have enough evidence to justify narrow indoor temperature ranges for thermal comfort or work performance reasons. I will end the presentation by making a case on how electric fans in many situations can protect people during heatwaves.