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10-31-2002

Clarkson Students Learn Improved Environmental Monitoring Techniques Through Equipment Donation

An increasing area of concern in our lives is the health of our indoor environments – Is the air in an office free of chemical pollutants? Are noise levels near a construction site too high? Are contaminants seeping into school classrooms through ventilation systems? Monitoring equipment for noise and air quality to answer questions such as these has become highly sophisticated, and students in the Environmental and Occupational Health program at Clarkson University now have additional opportunities to learn effective techniques of environmental monitoring.

Quest Technologies, Inc., of Oconomowac, Wis., has donated over $30,000 worth of gas, vibration, heat stress and noise monitors for use in the environmental and occupational health laboratories at Clarkson, as well as in air quality research programs currently underway at the University. The gift was facilitated by Clarkson alumnus Daniel Webster ’69, president of Quest Technologies Inc.

“This gift has allowed us to update much of the equipment in our laboratories,” said Alan Rossner, director of the Environmental and Occupational Health program at Clarkson. “It will give students the opportunity to become familiar with the kind of equipment that they will be required to use in the workplace after graduation.”

Students in the Environmental and Occupational Health program learn how to perform health hazard evaluations in the workplace and community. The testing focuses on the chemical, noise and biological exposure of workers and community members. The new equipment will allow Clarkson to expand its current laboratory and field experiments in this area because the monitoring equipment interfaces with computers, Rossner said.

“Students will be able to look at a more detailed and complete profile of a situation and perform in-depth analysis of field data they gather,” Rossner said.

The Quest equipment will also be used in air quality research. Clarkson Chemical Engineering Professor Philip K. Hopke studies air quality. He said the donated equipment includes portable monitoring systems that allow the user to conduct a more thorough air quality assessment inside buildings and structures. The equipment will be used by faculty, graduate students and undergraduate students for on-going research in the new Center for Air Resources Engineering and Science.

Webster graduated from Clarkson in 1969 with a degree in Industrial Distribution. Webster contacted the University after reading an article on Clarkson’s success in the recent IBM Linux Challenge and that contact signaled the beginning of a relationship between the University and Quest. Quest Technologies <http://www.quest-technologies.com> is a global leader in the design and manufacturing of occupational health, safety and environmental instruments used to measure, analyze and report heat stress, air quality, noise, and toxic/combustible gases in the workplace. Besides its offices in Wisconsin, Quest Technologies also has a research and development facility in Rochester, New York.
[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Michael P. Griffin, director of News & Digital Content Services, at 315-268-6716 or mgriffin@clarkson.edu.]

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