Plenaries and forum

Sunday – Opening session plenary

Professor Juha Pekkanen – Towards improved management of indoor air related health effects in Finland

Juha Pekkanen, MD, is currently a professor of public health at the University of Helsinki and a part-time research professor at the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare. He is a leading expert in environmental epidemiology with current focus on indoor air exposures, especially beneficial and adverse effects of microbes on respiratory health. He is a key player in the The Finnish Indoor Air and Health Programme 2018–2028.

Monday – Health and Mechanisms

Professor Steven Nordin – Reactions to indoor air: what why and how?

Steven Nordin is currently a professor in psychology at the University of Umeå, Sweden. His research is in the field of medical psychology, with particular focus on environmental intolerances, including nonspecific building-related symptoms.

Professor Elizabeth Matsui – Health promoting indoor air

Elizabeth Matsui, M.D., M.H.S, is a Professor of Population Health and Pediatrics and the Director of the Center for Health and Environment: Education and Research (CHEER). She is a pediatric allergist-immunologist and epidemiologist and a leading international expert on environmental exposures and their effects on asthma and other allergic conditions. She received her undergraduate degree in molecular biology and her medical degree from Vanderbilt University. She completed her residency in pediatrics at the University of California at San Francisco in 1996. She joined the faculty at Johns Hopkins in 2003 and was promoted to Professor in 2015 before joining the faculty at Dell Medical School at The University of Texas at Austin in 2018.

Tuesday – Agents and exposure

Professor Ying Xu – Semi-volatile organic compounds in indoor environments

Ying Xu, PhD, is currently an Associate Professor in the Department of Building Science at Tsinghua University, China and an adjunct Associate Professor at the University of Texas at Austin, USA. Her research focuses on understanding the relationships among sources, indoor environments, and human health for indoor pollutants, especially semi-volatile organic compounds. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including Yaglou Award from the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate (ISIAQ), CAREER Award from U.S. National Science Foundation, and New Investigator Award from the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE).

Professor Tunga Salthammer – Setting the guidelines for indoor pollutants

Tunga Salthammer is a Senior Scientist at the Fraunhofer WKI, a professor of environmental chemistry at the Technical University of Braunschweig, Germany and an adjunct professor at the Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane, Australia. His research interests include analytical chemistry, VVOC/VOC/SVOC emission studies on indoor materials using test chambers and cells, indoor chemistry, airborne particles, and settled dust. He is a member of the Indoor Air Hygiene Commission of the German Federal Environment Agency.

Wednesday – Control of indoor environments

Forum on Strategies to control of pandemic threats – how we can increase in our resilience

  • What are the key issues when a society meet a biological threat that have a potential to cause pandemic diseases?
  • What or which features of them makes the virus or bacteria dangerous for our societies?
  • On which conditions they are developed and what are the key players or circumstances to elevate some organisms as pandemic causing ones?
  • How they are spread in indoor environments?
  • What are mitigation actions to control the disease transmission?
  • How to evaluate the risks for people, for normal life, for working life and finally the society?

Professor Lidia Morawska – Moderator of the forum 

Lidia Morawska, a physicist, 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. Lidia also holds position of Vice-Chancellor Fellow, Global Centre for Clean Air Research, University of Surrey, UK. 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 member of the Australian Academy of Science and a recipient of numerous scientific awards.

Professor Cathrine Noakes – Microbial transmission in indoor environments

Professor Cath Noakes is a chartered mechanical engineer, with a background in fluid dynamics. She leads research into ventilation, indoor air quality and infection control in the built environment using experimental and modelling based studies. Since April 2020 she has co-chaired the Environment and Modelling sub-group of the UK Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) focusing on the science underpinning environmental transmission of COVID-19.

Professor Giorgio Buonanno – Airborne risk assessment for respiratory pathogens and indoor mitigation actions

Giorgio Buonanno, PhD, is currently a full professor of applied thermodynamics at the University of Cassino and Southern Lazio (Italy) and adjunct professor at the Queensland University of Technology (Australia). He is a leading expert in indoor air with current focus on indoor air exposures, metrology of airborne particle measures and airborne transmission of respiratory pathogens.

Professor Arsen Melikov – Strategies to prevent transmission of diseases in indoor environment

Arsen K. Melikov, PhD, is currently professor of ventilation at the Technical University of Denmark, International Centre for Indoor Environment and Energy. He is a leading expert on indoor environment and ventilation with focus on efficient air distribution strategies for improving inhaled air quality and reduction of airborne transmission indoors at low energy consumption.

Thursday – Future trends

Professor Jouni Jaakkola – Climate change, sustainable housing, and planetary health

Jouni Jaakkola, MD, DSc (Helsinki), PhD (McGill) is Professor of Public Health at the University of Oulu and Research Professor at the Finnish Meteorological Institute. He has long-term interests in global health issues related to climate change, housing, indoor environments, and air pollution. He has served the University of Helsinki, Harvard School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, and most recently University of Birmingham, UK as Professor and Director of the Institute of Occupational and Environmental Medicine. After return to Finland in 2008 he established the Center for Environmental and Respiratory Health Research (CERH) at the University of Oulu. His professional mission is to conduct research on topics which help to solve emerging planetary health problems.

Professor Dusan Licina – The present and the future of IEQ in green buildings

Dusan Licina, is an assistant professor at the École polytechnique fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL) and serves as the director of the Human-Oriented Built Environment Laboratory. He conducts fundamental and applied research in the field of sustainable and healthy built environment, with a specific focus on indoor air pollutant dynamics, exposure science and building ventilation.

Dusan holds MSc. and BSc. degrees in mechanical engineering (University of Belgrade). He completed his joint Doctorate degree at the National University of Singapore and Technical University of Denmark, followed by a postdoctoral appointment at the University of California Berkeley. Prior to joining EPFL, he also served as the director of the Standard Development team at the International WELL Building Institute.

Dusan is an active member of the boards of various scientific and professional groups, where he examines the future of buildings with an aim to ensure high indoor environmental quality for occupants with minimum energy use.

CEO Olli Nikula, Saint-Gobain Finland Oy –  Sustainability in Building Environment

Olli Nikula is the CEO of Saint-Gobain Finland Oy. He is one of the first Finnish business leaders who has been nominated as ambassadors for the #BuildingLife Program and is showing by example how the built environment can be moved towards carbon neutrality. #BuildingLife is a project of ten European Green Building Councils that aims to make the reduction of material-related emissions a key climate goal for companies, both in the European and national level.