Kimberly Prather

CEE Hosts Building the Future Webinar

Virtual Session Is January 31, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m.

Register now for U-M CEE’s Building the Future Distinguished Lecture Series, “The Critical Role of Engineers in Science Communication During the Covid Pandemic,” featuring UC San Diego’s Kimberly Prather on January 31, from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m ET.

This presentation will discuss science communication efforts over the past three years by engineers and aerosol scientists in communicating to the world that SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is airborne. This represented a paradigm shift in the overall understanding of disease transmission from droplets and surfaces (aka “droplet dogma”) to aerosol or airborne transmission. It required a major concerted effort between engineers, scientists, members of the public, and enlightened members in the medical field.  

This presentation will discuss coordinated efforts by scientists and engineers largely through social media. Highlights will be given of all methods used to induce this change including letters to the White House, Editorials, publications in top journals including Science and The Lancet, meetings with CDC officials and Dr. Fauci, as well as testifying for OSHA and congressional hearings.  Finally, a discussion of the raised awareness and efforts now focusing on the need to clean indoor air will be discussed, including efforts being implemented in schools, homes, and businesses. A summary of lessons learned from these experiences and how they will benefit research going forward will be provided.  

A panel discussion will follow the lecture. Our distinguished panelists include: Jim Rosenthal, Chairman & CEO, Air Relief Technologies, Inc. and Dustin Poppendieck, Environmental Engineer in the Indoor Air Quality and Ventilation Group of the Energy and Environment Division (EED) of the Engineering Laboratory (EL) at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST).

Register here for the Zoom link. 


Portrait of Mason Hinawi
Mason Hinawi

Marketing Communications Specialist
Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering