IHEEM Head Office & Yorkshire Branch Joint Event

Branch Monthly Update


Friday 19th February 2021.


Professor Catherine Noakes OBE, CEng, FIMechE, FIHEEM – Professor of Environmental Engineering for Buildings, University of Leeds

Air cleaning and disinfection devices in a hospital setting – benefits and pitfalls

COVID has substantially raised awareness of the role of the healthcare environment in the transmission of infection, and particularly the importance of ventilation. In spaces where ventilation is less effective, air cleaning technologies may provide a viable approach to mitigating risk of exposure to virus in the environment. However, there are a wide range of technologies available, and it can be a challenge to determine how effective an approach is likely to be. This presentation outlines the principles that underpin different air cleaning approaches and the research evidence for their effectiveness. The talk considers how and where they can best be applied and the biological, chemical, engineering and human factors that need to be considered when selecting and implementing air cleaning and disinfection technologies. 

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, with a particular focus on engineering control of airborne transmission of infection. Cath is currently Deputy Director of Leeds Institute for Fluid Dynamics and Co-Director for the EPSRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Fluid Dynamics.   Since April 2020 she has been involved in the UK COVID-19 response, leading the SAGE EMG sub-group focusing on the science underpinning environmental transmission of COVID-19.