Otis Commissions Study on Elevator Airflow Amid COVID-19 Pandemic

  • Independent study to investigate risk of airborne transmission in elevators
  • Findings aim to advance industry safety protocols and provide additional scientific data to inform riding public
  • Led by Purdue University expert

TAIPEI and HONG KONG, Sept. 4, 2020 /PRNewswire/ --  Otis Worldwide Corporation (NYSE: OTIS) has commissioned a study into elevator airflow, how it affects the risk of transmission of the COVID-19 virus among passengers, and how to mitigate those risks through science-based safety protocols. Otis is the world's leading company for elevator and escalator manufacturing, installation and service.

The study will be led by Dr. Qingyan (Yan) Chen, the James G. Dwyer Professor of Mechanical Engineering at Purdue, who is widely recognized for his research into the spread of infectious disease through indoor air systems – and how to prevent it.

"Since the start of this pandemic, we have been providing essential services for our customers and developing innovative solutions to address their challenges, including passenger safety concerns," said Robin Fiala, Vice President, Otis Marketing & Sales. "This study will build on our efforts to advance industry safety protocols and enable us to help our customers make more informed, science-based decisions about how to keep their tenants safe."

Dr. Chen, who is also Editor in Chief of the scientific journal Building and Environment, uses sophisticated 3D modeling in his research, which currently focuses on indoor environments, aircraft cabins, and energy-efficient, healthy, and sustainable building design and analysis. He has published three books and over 470 journal and conference papers and has been invited to deliver more than 170 lectures internationally. He previously served as Principal Director of the Federal Aviation Administration's Center of Excellence (COE) for Airliner Cabin Environment Research.

"My team and I are looking forward to conducting this study to help the industry and riding public better understand the likelihood of COVID-19 transmission in an elevator environment as compared to other everyday activities, like shopping at a grocery store or eating at a restaurant," said Dr. Chen. "Using state-of-the-art research techniques, we will also be able to scientifically validate preferred methods of mitigating passenger risks associated with the virus."   

About Otis

Built on a legacy of innovation, Otis was founded in 1853 after Elisha Otis invented the elevator safety brake, giving rise to the modern city, transforming how people live and work, and revolutionizing architecture itself. Today, we are the world's leading company for elevator and escalator manufacturing, installation and service. We move 2 billion people a day and maintain more than 2 million customer units worldwide, the industry's largest maintenance portfolio. We can be found in many of the world's most recognizable buildings, as well as the busiest transportation hubs and retail centers – we are everywhere people are on the move. Headquartered in Connecticut, USA, Otis is 69,000 people strong, including 40,000 field professionals, all committed to meeting the diverse needs of our customers and passengers in more than 200 countries and territories worldwide. To learn more, visit www.otis.com and follow us on LinkedIn, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter @OtisElevatorCo.

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