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James Andrew Smith's Blog

I'm an associate professor (professeur agrégé) in York University's Lassonde School of Engineering. I dedicate my time primarily to teaching, but also conduct research and work to make education, engineering and science and academia more just, inclusive, diverse and equitable. I like talking about robots and electronics, as well as teaching.

Originally from Québec City, I studied at the University of Alberta and worked on during my PhD at McGill and my post-doc in Jena, Germany. My professor career began at X University in Toronto in 2008. In 2015 I joined York University. In 2018/19 I went on sabbatical in France and worked at both the INSA in Strasbourg and Hochschule Karlsruhe in nearby Karlsruhe, Germany.

I can be found on Twitter and reached through my University email drsmith@yorku.ca.

You'll see lots of information in this blog about COVID, airborne hazards, clean air, N95 respirators, etc. It's important to point out that I have an interest in this, generally, but do not have a technical background in ventilation or PPE, in spite of my mechanical engineering degree or any work I've done in biomedical engineering -- so any opinion I express on this topic is not officially within my area of technical competence and should not be taken as a "professional engineering recommendation". If you're looking for proper professional advice on PPE, HVAC, etc., hire a registered Professional Engineer who is trained and who practices in those domains.

That said, COVID is Airborne, we need to cleanse the air and wear N95 or better respirators. You don't need a degree in HVAC to know or recommend those things. You just need to listen to experts, read peer-reviewed papers, as well as industry white papers and product user manuals.


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