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Clarkson University’s Andrea Ferro Receives $410K CAREER Award from NSF

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Andrea R. Ferro, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at Clarkson University, has received a CAREER Award from the National Science Foundation. Ferro will receive $410,000 over five years from the NSF for her research into the resuspension of pollutants into the air.

The Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) Program is an NSF-wide activity that offers the Foundation’s most prestigious awards in support of junior faculty who exemplify the role of teacher-scholars through outstanding research, excellent education and the integration of education and research within the context of their organizations’ missions. ferro receives NSF CAREER Award

Ferro’s research could result in changes in the selection of materials used in buildings; guidance for emergency response to chemical and biological agents; and human behavior modification and policy changes to reduce exposure to resuspended pollutants.

"Resuspension, the stirring up of settled particles into the air, is an important source of human exposure to indoor and outdoor pollutants," says Ferro. "Indoor dust, which has a large contribution from soil, can contain high concentrations of bacteria, lead and other heavy metals, pet allergens, dust mites, pesticides and other organic toxins."

Ferro will conduct studies and evaluate the forces affecting particle resuspension. Her project will benefit from newly built facilities and equipment, including a temperature- and humidity-controlled test chamber, a laminar flow resuspension wind tunnel, and advanced particle monitoring and visualization devices in the Clarkson University Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science (CARES).

Ferro has been a faculty member in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering since 2003. She has been a registered professional engineer since 1997 and has approximately 20 years of experience in environmental health and engineering. Her technical expertise is focused on indoor air quality and human exposure to particulate pollutants.

Ferro co-developed and co-taught one of the world’s first courses on human exposure analysis at Stanford University (2000-2002) and contributed to the resulting textbook. She expanded and taught a similar course at Clarkson in 2005 and 2007. This unique course focuses on scientific and engineering issues involved in quantifying human exposure to toxic chemicals in the environment.

Ferro has published numerous journal articles, conference papers, reports and other articles, and delivered some 100 papers at professional and academic conferences throughout the world. She has managed research projects totaling over $1.7 million from the NSF, the EPA, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the Health Effects Institute and other funding agencies.

Clarkson University launches leaders into the global economy. One in six alumni already leads as a CEO, VP or equivalent senior executive of a company. Located just outside the Adirondack Park in Potsdam, N.Y., Clarkson is a nationally recognized research university for undergraduates with select graduate programs in signature areas of academic excellence directed toward the world’s pressing issues. Through 50 rigorous programs of study in engineering, business, arts, sciences and health sciences, the entire learning-living community spans boundaries across disciplines, nations and cultures to build powers of observation, challenge the status quo, and connect discovery and engineering innovation with enterprise.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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