A National Science Foundation grant is funding Virginia Tech engineer Deborah Young-Corbett in efforts to improve public school infrastructure. Young-Corbett is an assistant professor who directs the Occupational and Construction Hazard Reduction Engineering Laboratory, part of Virginia Tech’s Myers-Lawson School of Construction and the Virginia Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at Virginia Tech.
“Young-Corbett is among a breed of engineering faculty called industrial hygienists. She emphasizes the control of health hazards that come from the built environment or that are inherent to the construction process. She received her doctorate in industrial and systems engineering from Virginia Tech, and holds two master’s degrees. One is in ecology from N.C. State University and the second one is in industrial and systems engineering, also from Virginia Tech. Her bachelor’s degree is in biology.
“Using her engineering skills, Young-Corbett is working with structural equation modeling and geographic information systems (GIS) to create models to describe the impacts of building construction choices, climate, and indoor pollutants on human health. Her models employ more than 6,000 data points related to building construction, HVAC design, environmental contaminants and inhabitant symptoms collected from some 100 randomly selected public and commercial buildings in 37 cities in 25 states.”