Skip to Main Content

About Jan Stolwijk

Prof. Jan Stolwijk
Jan Stolwijk, PhD, was an associate fellow and then a fellow of the John B. Pierce Laboratory from 1957 to 1974 and associate director from 1974 to 1989. His research was in occupational health and indoor air pollution. He is the Susan Dwight Bliss Professor Emeritus of Epidemiology and Public Health. He served as Chair of Public Health from 1982-1989. Among his many contributions was his work with James Hardy at the JB Pierce Lab to create a model for defining thermal comfort zones. They explored how humans responded to changes in their thermal environment. Using complex, integrated physiological measurements (respiratory oxygen, skin temperature, sweat rate, and thermal sensation), during both rest and exercise, they developed a seminal heat transfer model for defining thermal comfort zones. A. Pharo Gagge subsequently translated these comfort zones to delineate acceptable conditions for people at rest or work in built environments, such as office buildings, factories, or vehicles. This work has been used by architects as well as heating and ventilating engineers in building designs. An international symposium on thermal physiology was held in New Haven in 1968.