Personal Homepage of Agnes Psikuta

Most recent activities and current projects
Novel manikins at Empa - meet ANDI and HVAC

Thanks to recently won SNSF R'Equip funding two novel full-body manikins has been acquired for our lab extending Empa manikin family and a coughing head has been acquired for the project partner lab - HOBEL at EPFL. The ANDI manikin is a thermal sweating moving and breathing manikin that beside heat losses can also quantify heat gains thanks to integrated surface heat flux sensor and active cooling system. The HVAC manikin is a human-shape environmental sensor with dense matrix of temperature, total radiant heat flux, short-wave heat flux, air speed and relative humidity. Both manikins allow detailed analysis of human thermal exposure including unique experimental separation of heat fluxes per heat transfer mode. Both manikins are available for collaborative projects within Switzerland, Europe or worldwide.

Understanding firefighter clothing insulation with virtual tools
Distribution of inner air layers is for the first time visible and can be translated into the quantification of thermal effects

The knowledge of local clothing properties in real-life exposure provides a true protection mapping and gives design inputs to improve the local protective properties of firefighters' clothing. To explore the distribution of air layers in complex multi-panel and multi-layer firefighter clothing we used the CLO3D software to visualize the air layer distribution across the clothing thickness and related it to the thermal resistance property. The devised methodology has been systematically validated using 3D-scanned data for multilayer garments with different level of complexity. The findings of this study are being used for optimization of thermal properties of firefighter protective clothing.