On October 15th, 2020, the Expert group Aerosols of the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts of Baden-Württemberg began its work. The committee is to clarify how the risk of infection with SARS-CoV-2 in enclosed spaces can be reduced. One of the 11 members of the committee is Prof. Dr.-Ing. Gunnar Grün from the Institute of Acoustics and Building Physics, who already dealt with the climate in aircraft in his dissertation and is now Professor of Building Physics at the faculty and head of the department "Energy Efficiency and Indoor Climate" at the Fraunhofer Institute for Building Physics. He will contribute diverse research work in the fields of aerosol propagation and indoor air flow. In cooperation with the other members of the expert group, this will contribute to the reassessment of various protective measures - or combinations thereof - with regard to infection protection, taking into account the latest scientific findings. Another member of the University in the expert group is Prof. Dr. Konstantinos Stergiaropoulos, Head of the Institute for Building Energetics, Thermotechnology and Energy Storage (IGTE).
In addition, an alumna of the faculty is also a member, Prof. Dr.-Ing. Jennifer Nießner from the Heilbronn University of Applied Sciences. She worked as a research associate at the Institute of Hydraulic Engineering (now the Institute for Modelling Hydraulic and Environmental Systems) and received her doctorate and habilitation from the faculty.
How does the corona virus spread through exhaled air in a room? How long do the viruses survive in the air? Which concentration of virus-laden aerosols is critical, especially in closed rooms? And what measures can be taken to counteract the contamination in the room? Such questions, which are now making it much more difficult to control the pandemic with the onset of autumn, are to be tackled quickly by the new "Aerosols Expert Group".
The spread of aerosols as such has long been an issue in many areas. "However, the link with the spread of SARS-CoV-2 is uncharted territory", said State Minister of Science Bauer. Accordingly, estimates and preliminary findings on the various facets of this topic are currently available. In order to link these, the "Aerosols Expert Group" covers a wide range of disciplines and links them in an interdisciplinary way.