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SRP Progress in Research Webinar Series: Emerging Technologies in Occupational Health and Safety Training and Education - Session III

Sponsored by: NIEHS Superfund Research Program


The NIEHS Superfund Research Program (SRP) is sponsoring a Progress in Research webinar series, hosted by CLU-IN, to showcase federally funded researchers developing curricula and educational programs focused on emergent technologies in the sphere of occupational health and safety.

The three-part series will highlight researchers' projects, accomplishments, and demonstrate research products — included in this group of researchers are SRP's seven R25 grant recipients as well as participation from the NIEHS Worker Training Program (WTP) and the Center for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Institute for Occupational Safety & Health (NIOSH).

To learn about and register for the other sessions in this webinar series, please see the SRP website.

University of Utah | Biological Hazard Site Training in Emerging Technologies (BioSTET) for Health and Safety:
Biological hazards present an ongoing threat to occupational health, especially by workers during site cleanup. Research on emerging technologies has offered promising inroads to a creative and integrated resolution of these hazards. However, new academic coursework, as well as further advances in research, are needed. Darrah Sleeth, PhD., and Rod Handy, Ph.D., plan to address their role in solving that research gap on behalf of BioSTET, a collaborative effort between the University of Utah, Cal Poly San Luis Obispo, Montana Tech, and East Tennessee State University, with evaluation activities through the University of California, Los Angeles and Texas A&M University. The goal is to create continuing education (CE) and academic courses in emerging technologies specific to site biological health and safety.

Cell Podium:
Cesar Bandera, Ph.D., will discuss his organization Cell Podium, a digital solutions provider offering products and services for public health and responder training — offering a new dimension of realism and skill development in HAZMAT field training exercises. Lean startup research shows how relationships between innovation ecosystem stakeholders affect the "Valley of Death." The ecosystem of the NIEHS Worker Training Program includes stakeholders from both the training community and the technology community — Cell Podium, a WTP grant awardee being a company that bridges those two communities. Dr. Bandera will present two innovations for HAZMAT training — SensorSim and Virtex — and how this ecosystem facilitated their development and adoption.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (CDC NIOSH):
Elizabeth Maples, Ph.D., will provide a brief overview of the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) — an agency with a strong, diverse history of positively impacting worker health and safety. Her presentation will then focus on the NIOSH Training Portfolio that she manages: Education and Research Centers and Training Project Grants. She'll offer a glimpse into the diverse training, research, outreach, and continuing education programs that the NIOSH Training Portfolio has — perhaps leading to opportunities for collaboration.

A photograph of Darrah Sleeth, Ph.D., M.P.H.Darrah Sleeth, Ph.D., M.P.H., University of Utah (darrah.sleeth@hsc.utah.edu)
Darrah Sleeth, Ph.D., M.P.H., is an Associate Professor in the Division of Occupational & Environmental Health and the affiliated Rocky Mountain Center for Occupational & Environmental Health. She earned a Ph.D. in Industrial Health and an M.P.H. in Industrial Hygiene & Hazardous Substances from the University of Michigan. Her research interests include exposure assessment for airborne respiratory hazards, particle size selective sampling methods and indoor air quality.


A photograph of Rod Handy, M.B.A., Ph.D.Rod Handy, M.B.A., Ph.D., East Tennessee State University (handyr@mail.etsu.edu)
Rod Handy, M.B.A., Ph.D., is a professor in the Department of Environmental and Occupational Health and Safety Sciences at East Tennessee State University. Prior to this appointment, Dr. Handy was a professor in the Department of Family & Preventive Medicine at the University of Utah. Dr. Handy received his M.B.A. from Ball State University and a Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering Sciences from the University of Florida. He has been certified in the comprehensive practice of industrial hygiene since 1999. In his career, Dr. Handy has taught a myriad of environmental and occupational health science courses, and his current research interests are in thermal stress assessment, real-time contaminant measurement and characterization, and indoor environmental quality.


A photograph of Cesar Bandera, Ph.DCesar Bandera, Ph.D, Cell Podium (cesar.bandera@cellpodium.com)
Cesar Bandera, Ph.D, is Founding Partner of Cell Podium, a developer of technologies for responder training including SensorSim, which simulates real-time chemical and radiological exposure and interactive sensors for HAZMAT field exercises, and Virtex, an online multiuser/multirole virtual reality tabletop exercise. Developed under Small Business Innovation Research funding from the NIEHS Worker Training Program, over thirty training organizations use SensorSim and Virtex.


A photograph of Elizabeth Maples, Ph.D.Elizabeth Maples, Ph.D., CDC NIOSH (elm9@cdc.gov)
Elizabeth Maples, Ph.D., is a Scientific Program Official at CDC NIOSH. Elizabeth brings her years of experience in safety and health to serve as an advocate for her grantees and that in turn promotes the field of occupational safety and health through education, research, training, and outreach. She earned her Ph.D. in Health Education / Health Promotion from a joint program with the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) and University of Alabama. She served as the Deputy Director for the Deep South Center for Occupational Health and Safety (NIOSH Education and Research Center at UAB and Auburn University) for many years. She earned her certification in industrial hygiene through the American Board of Industrial Hygiene in 2018. In 2022, Elizabeth received an Excellence in Workforce Diversity from NIOSH for contributions promoting the creation and support of a diverse NIOSH workforce.


Moderators:

A photograph of Sudha Pandalai, M.D., Ph.D.Sudha Pandalai, M.D., Ph.D., CDC NIOSH (gvy5@cdc.gov)
Sudha Pandalai, M.D., is a research physician and epidemiologist in the Risk Evaluation Branch in the Division of Science Integration at CDC NIOSH. She earned her M.D. from the Ohio State University College of Medicine, a Ph.D. in Epidemiology and Public Health from the University of Pittsburgh, Graduate School of Public Health, and a M.S. in Behavioral Neuroscience from the University of Pittsburgh. Dr. Pandalai is a licensed physician and is board certified by the American Board of Preventive Medicine in Occupational Medicine. Her areas of interest include quantitative and qualitative risk assessment of chemical and non-chemical occupational hazards and the translation of quantitative and qualitative risk assessment findings to the occupational medicine clinical setting. Dr. Pandalai also focuses on the development of methods to study and evaluate concurrently occurring risk factors that can affect worker health.


A photograph of Jean BalentJean Balent, U.S. EPA Technology Innovation and Field Services Division (balent.jean@epa.gov or 202-566-0832)
Ms Balent is on the staff of the EPA's Technology Innovation and Field Services Division where she has worked to collect and disseminate hazardous waste remediation and characterization information since 2003. Ms Balent manages the Clean Up Information Network website and actively supports online communication and collaboration resources available to EPA. She formerly worked with the US Army Corps of Engineers Environmental Engineering Division in the Buffalo District. Ms Balent was also a member of the SUNY-Buffalo Groundwater Research Group where she constructed and tested large scale models of groundwater flow. Ms Balent has also conducted research relating to the Great Lakes, environmental remediation, and brownfields re-development. She holds a Bachelor's degree in environmental engineering from SUNY-Buffalo and a Master's degree in Information Technology from AIU.


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 May 17, 2024: SRP Progress in Research Webinar Series: Emerging Technologies in Occupational Health and Safety Training and Education - Session III

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