Date: October 15, 2020, No. 62

Corona: Two professors from the University of Stuttgart have been appointed to the Aerosols Group of Experts

Konstantinos Stergiaropoulos and Gunnar Grün join the committee of the Ministry of Science

Prof. Dr. Konstantinos Stergiaropoulos, Head of the Institute for Building Energetics, Thermotechnology and Energy Storage (IGTE) at the University of Stuttgart, and Prof. Gunnar Grün, Head of the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics (IBP) and professor at the Institute for Acoustics and Building Physics (IABP) at the University of Stuttgart, are members of the new Aerosols Group of Experts of the Baden-Wuerttemberg Ministry of Science. The committee, which began its work on 15 October 2020, has the task to investigate how the risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection in enclosed spaces can be reduced.

How does the coronavirus spread by means of exhaled air in a room? How long can the virus survive in the air? Which concentration of virus-laden droplets is critical, especially in enclosed spaces? And what measures can be taken to counteract the contamination in the room? The new body of experts on aerosols is to address such issues quickly, since now, with the onset of autumn, the control of the pandemic will become much more difficult.

Aerosol spread as such has long been an issue in many areas. “The connection with the spread of SARS-CoV-2, however, is uncharted territory,” says Teresia Bauer, Minister for Science. Accordingly, only estimates and preliminary findings on the various facets of this topic are currently available. In order to combine these, the Aerosols Group of Experts will be covering a wide range of subject areas and link them in an interdisciplinary approach.

The dispersion of aerosols depending on room use

The expertise of Prof. Stergiaropoulos, whose research interests also include the topic of indoor climate, lies in the calculation, measurement, and modeling of indoor air flow and ventilation. This makes it possible to predict the dispersion of particles or aerosols in a room, depending on how the room is used. Prof. Gunnar Grün will be contributing a large variety of research findings from the fields of aerosol dispersion and indoor air flow. In conjunction with the work of other members of the expert group, this will contribute to the re-evaluation of various protective measures - or combinations thereof - with regard to infection prevention and control, taking into account the latest scientific findings.

Prof. Dr. Konstantinos Stergiaropoulos, University of Stuttgart, Institute for Building Energetics, phone: +49 (0)711/685 62084, email: konstantinos.stergiaropoulos@igte.uni-stuttgart.de

Prof. Gunnar Grün, University of Stuttgart, Institute for Acoustics and Building Physics, phone +49 711 685-61673, email gunnar.gruen@iabp.uni-stuttgart.de

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Andrea Mayer-Grenu

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