M. Kathleen Owen

Research Chemical Engineer

Kathleen Owen


  • MS, Air Pollution Control Engineering, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill
  • BS, Chemical Engineering, North Carolina State University

Kathleen Owen manages RTI’s laboratory for testing commercial filters, air cleaners, and other devices used to remove particles, gases, and/or bioaerosols (airborne microorganisms)—conducting industry standard test and developing and implementing custom test plans to meet unique client needs.

In more than 25 years in air quality research and method development, Ms. Owen participated in the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating, and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency projects that resulted in development of several standard test methods. She served as the first chair of ASHRAE SSPC 145, which oversaw development of the full-scale and media gas-phase air cleaner test methods.

Ms. Owen is currently the Vice Chair of the SSPC 52.2—a committee that led development of the test method for particle removal efficiency for HVAC filters. She is also a member of ASHRAE SSPC 185, which is responsible for the test method for testing UV light inactivation of bioaerosols in HVAC ducts. And she led the recent ASHRAE project RP-1360—How do Pressure Drop, Efficiency, Weight Gain, and Loaded Dust Composition Change throughout Filter Lifetime?—that investigated changes in filter efficiency and pressure drop across the product life cycle, and the properties of dust collected on filters used throughout the United States.

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