Mark Hernandez is the S J Archuleta Professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering; he directs the Environmental Engineering Microbiology and Disinfection Lab at the University of Colorado. This lab focuses on the characterization and control of microbiological air pollution and microbially induced corrosion. The lab develops genetic, biochemical and toxicological techniques to assess the efficacy of engineering interventions in sectors of sanitary engineering and industrial hygiene that are relevant to environmental health. There is special focus on aerobiology science for wide-area surveillance, indoor cleaning technology and the design of aerosol disinfection systems in the built environment.
Dr. Hernandez has focused graduate and undergraduate recruiting efforts on disabled students and those from socioeconomic groups that have been traditionally underrepresented in engineering education. Learn more about his work to broaden participation in Engineering Education.
The Hernandez lab is optimizing large-scale aerosol disinfection systems and commercial cleaning protocols in ways that help mitigate the persistence of Coronavirus in the built environment.
With 25 years of research experience on the characterization and control of airborne microorganisms, the Hernandez lab has most recently been monitoring aerobiology in metropolitan mass transit systems around the world as well as in our local public schools.
After the pandemic surfaced in Wuhan, hospitals and industrial partners (Denver Children's Hospital, Clorox, Carrier, Aerosol Devices, and Detection Tek) approached the Hernandez lab to support CoVID characterization studies. We also have a RAPID grant from the National Science Foundation with support from the National Institutes of Health pending.
We use classic methods for culturing mammalian viruses as well as emerging instrumentation from the Colorado tech sector to characterize the identity, distribution and infectious potential of indoor airborne microorganisms - notably including Coronavirus.
Toxicology, biochemistry and disinfection of aerosols
Characterization and control of Fomites
Acidogenic microbes in wastewater and petroleum transport systems
Antimicrobial cements and steel alloys
Upcycling industrial by-products: heavy metals and slags
Enhancing energy recovery from anaerobic digestion