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University Relations

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Dec. 2, 2005
Contact: Mary Jane Dunlap, University Relations, (785) 864-8853.

KU architecture graduate student wins new fellowship to study library air quality

LAWRENCE -- A University of Kansas graduate teaching assistant in the School of Architecture and Urban Design from Lee's Summit, Mo., has won the first Ken Dillon Memorial Fellowship for Indoor Environmental Quality Design.

Bryan Falk won the $3,500 fellowship offered by GREENGUARD Environmental Institute (GEI) with his proposal to study the air quality in KU's Spencer Research Library, which houses more than 750,000 rare books and documents.

Rare books libraries, including the National Archives, regularly work to maintain environments that preserve books and documents. Falk's goal is to expand research data regarding air quality within all libraries while offering specific design ideas for KU's Spencer Research Library. This December, Falk begins a six-month study of such factors as particulate matter, air flow, speed and surface temperatures in the Spencer library to test a design solution to improve environmental conditions.

Falk, who is a graduate teaching assistant in architecture, is interested in performance issues in architecture. Performance refers to qualities such as energy efficiency, human comfort and health, material efficiency and building cost. "We are interested not only that a building looks good, but that it performs well (for its occupants)," Falk says.

Falk's winning proposal was an extension of an assignment in a computational fluid dynamics class taught by Jae Chang, KU assistant professor of architecture. Chang encouraged students in his computational fluid dynamics class to consider the GREENGUARD fellowship competition.

Chang said: "Considering this fellowship was open to all disciplines and from the undergraduate to doctoral levels that were interested in health, we are very pleased it was awarded to an architecture student." Chang and Nils Gore, KU associate professor in architecture, are advising Falk's research.

Carl Smith, chief executive with GEI, said, "We were very impressed by Bryan's proposed study and look forward to the results contributing to the body of knowledge regarding indoor air quality. It is visionaries like Ken Dillon and students like Bryan Falk that will lead the way to healthier indoor environments where people can live and work productively."

Falk received a bachelor of arts degree in interdisciplinary studies at the University of Missouri in Columbia in 2002. He is also completing a master's degree in architecture design with digital media at Missouri. He is the son of Mel and Koko Falk of Lee's Summit and is married to Sarah Falk of Kahoka, Mo. He is a Lee's Summit North High School graduate.

The Ken Dillon Memorial Fellowship for Indoor Environmental Quality Design honors the life work of Dr. Henry Kenneth Dillon, a founding member of the GEI Advisory Board and associate professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. CertainTeed Corporation, Knoll, Inc., Herman Miller and Owens Corning also contributed to funding the Dillion Memorial Fellowship.

Application information about the Ken Dillon Memorial Fellowship will be available online in Spring 2006 at Interested students may also e-mail a request to


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