This proposal requests continued funding in support of the Graduate Program in Occupational and Environmental Health at the Purdue University School of Health Sciences. The program offers both M.S. and Ph.D. degrees and aims to contribute to the supply of highly skilled professionals in Industrial Hygiene (IH) and Occupational Health fulfilling regional and national needs in these fields. The M.S. program is accredited by ABET, under its industrial hygiene and similarly named criteria. It is the only such program in Indiana. The program draws many of its applicants from Indiana and nearby states and in turn graduates often pursue careers in this region. The program also serves the region through research projects in local and regional workplaces. The program has a dedicated core of five faculty, including two Certified Industrial Hygienists and three fellows of the American Industrial Hygiene Association, that is complimented by associate faculty in related disciplines. The faculty are involved in several unique research areas, including occupational neuroepidmiology, pulmonary aerosol deposition, real-time video exposure monitoring, indoor air quality, silica exposure reduction, and the use of medical imaging to assess exposure and effects of inhaled toxics. The core curriculum for the program includes coursework in biostatistics, exposure assessment, toxicology, ergonomics, IH instrumentation, physical agents, aerosol science, epidemiology, safety and control technology. The program accepts students with a solid background in the basic sciences, provides them specialized education and training in industrial hygiene and related disciplines, and develops their skills as critical thinkers, researchers and communicators, with student presentations, projects and thesis research. The duration of the M.S. program is 1.5 - 2 years;doctoral students typically complete their degrees in an additional 2 - 3 years. The program plans to enroll 7 - 10 trainees, including those not supported by this training grant. Trainees are drawn from graduates of bachelor programs in science, engineering, industrial hygiene or environmental health. Selection of trainees is based on a combination of grade point averages, GRE scores, work experiences, letters of recommendations and the applicants'personal statements of purpose. Training facilities include dedicated teaching, research and office space as well as equipment for environmental monitoring, exposure assessment, real time monitoring, and instrumentation for research in ergonomics, health physics and toxicology.. University-wide facilities include resources in analytical chemistry, laboratory animal care and microbiology, as well as a statistical consulting service available to students..
The proposed training program prepares M.S. and Ph.D. students to be leaders and researchers in identifying, assessing and reducing workplace risks to safety and health. The program accepts students with a solid background in the basic sciences and provides them specialized education and training in core disciplines related to workplace safety and health (e.g. exposure assessment, toxicology, epidemiology, engineering control technology, biostatistics and ergonomics), Students'knowledge, skills and critical thinking are tested, solidified and extended in projects which research environmental conditions in the workplace and methods of assessing and reducing health risks related to these conditions..