BV550 Adapting Your Workplace for COVID-19

Returning to work with a mask

About This Course

The threat of COVID-19 has brought new challenges and risks to businesses and public spaces. It can be difficult to distinguish fact from opinion when determining which recommendations to follow to ensure safe working spaces. This course is designed for professionals and translates scientific expertise into practical application, including mitigation strategies that best reduce the risk of exposure and deliver the best return on investment. 

In this fully online course, participants will learn from Portland State University Dean and indoor air quality expert Richard Corsi, Ph.D., P.E. Dr. Corsi will present clear and accessible knowledge of how to measure and manage air quality, as well as strategies that effectively reduce virus transmission in the workplace. Participants will gain practical knowledge of tools such as layered risk reduction strategies and a safe airspace estimator. Upon successful completion of the course, participants will receive a professional certificate of completion. 

Who Should Attend

Professionals who are seeking to support their organization as they navigate returning to the workplace while ensuring health and safety for employees. This course is of particular relevance to business, government, community leaders, operations managers, health and safety professionals, and anyone interested in understanding how to mitigate the impact of COVID-19 in the work environment.


Course Snapshot

The course is delivered remotely



Two 4-hour virtual sessions


Class schedule: TBA


Be patient. Be vigilant. Keep your guard up. 

– Richard L. Corsi, Ph.D., P.E.

What You'll Learn

Upon completion of this program, students will understand:

Basic principles related to indoor air quality

  • Importance of indoor air quality on human health and productivity
  • Major factors that affect the quality of indoor air
  • Important classes of indoor air pollutants
  • Important properties of indoor particulate matter
  • Conceptual model 

Basic principles related to the aerosol transmission of COVID-19

  • Particles as conveyors of the SARS-CoV-2 virus (critical parameters)
  • Exposure pathways
  • The fate of virus-laden particles
  • Environmental conditions 
  • Virus-laden particle emissions
  • Inhaled Deposited Dose as a construct for risk reduction


Layered Risk Reduction Strategies

  • Reducing sources and source emissions
  • Requiring masks (why masks are important and how they work)
  • Physical distancing (why and how much)
  • Activity sequencing
  • Ventilation (types, standards, and CO2 as a surrogate)
  • Filtration (centralized; MERV ratings; challenges)
  • Portable air cleaners (proven vs. unproven; HEPA & CADR; design for space)
  • Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI; role and value)
  • Surface cleaning and disinfection

Additional practical aspects of COVID-19 risk reduction

  • Face shields and physical barriers
  • Sampling methods and design

Models for estimating transmission by aerosol particles

  • Classic quanta-based models and tools (explained and tested)
  • New mechanistic model (explained and tested)

Additional resources and tools to help make your indoor spaces safer

Dr. Richard L. Corsi is the H. Chik M. Erzurumlu Dean of the Maseeh College of Engineering and Computer Science at Portland State University. Prior to joining PSU, Dr. Corsi was a faculty member, department chair, and endowed research chair in the Department of Civil, Architectural, and Environmental Engineering at the University of Texas at Austin. Dr. Corsi is an internationally-recognized expert in the field of indoor air quality, including indoor sources, chemistry, pollutant-material interactions, and control. He has contributed to national webinars on COVID-19 hosted by the National Academies, USEPA, National Tribal Air Association, and more.  He has also been interviewed nearly 80 times by regional, national, and international media regarding risk reduction strategies for COVID-19. His team has published nearly 270 peer-reviewed papers stemming from 70 funded research projects and supervision of over 120 students. Dr. Corsi has been honored as a Distinguished Alumnus of Humboldt State University and the College of Engineering at the University of California at Davis and was inducted into the prestigious Academy of Distinguished Teachers at UT Austin. He is immediate past President of the Academy of Fellows of the International Society of Indoor Air Quality and Climate.

Guest speaker: 
Dr. Kevin Van Den Wymelenberg, Professor of Architecture at the University of Oregon, founded the Institute for Health in the Built Environment and directs the Biology and the Built Environment Center and Energy Studies in Buildings Laboratory. His work seeks to broaden the network of researchers and practitioners such that issues concerning health, comfort, and sustainability in the human ecosystem are addressed in a way that benefits our work, our community, and our planet.