Faculty Highlight – Dr. Chandran Achutan is an assistant professor in the COPH Department of Environmental, Agricultural, and Occupational Health. He obtained his BS in chemistry from Universiti Sains Malaysia in Penang, Malaysia, and his MS and PhD in occupational and environmental health from the University of Iowa. Prior to coming to the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC) in 2008, he was a staff scientist at the US National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), where he conducted health hazard evaluations at workplaces across the country. Dr. Achutan’s research interests include chemical exposure assessments, reducing noise exposures and hearing loss, and evaluating particulate exposures in farming populations. In addition to conducting research that directly benefits Nebraskans, he is developing new research and teaching opportunities in Africa and Central Asia. Since joining UNMC, he has also developed an interest in researching how to increase access to public health education for rural and minority students and in issues related to environmental justice.
Dr. Achutan teaches the Environmental Exposure Assessment course, a core course in the COPH Master of Public Health Program’s environmental and occupational health concentration in the fall semester, and co-teaches the survey course in environmental health in the spring semester. He often draws on practical experience from his work at NIOSH, including his stint as a team leader during Hurricane Katrina, to enhance classroom discussions.
Dr. Achutan is an active member of the American Industrial Hygiene Association (AIHA) and was nominated by the AIHA Noise Committee to serve a five-year term on the Council for the Accreditation of Occupational Hearing Conservationists. He is a past chair of the AIHA Gas and Vapor Detection Systems Committee and is currently serving a five-year term on the AIHA Continuing Education Committee. He is the lead COPH representative on a joint initiative between COPH and the UNMC Business and Finance Office to improve the health and safety of campus employees.