University Centre Engineering Lecturer helps tackle PPE shortage

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Hugh Baird University Centre Engineering Lecturer, Kevin Donnelly, has recently been helping tackle the demand of PPE equipment by using the College’s 3D printer to make over 100 disposable face masks and distributing them to local pharmacies and hospitals.

NHS staff are currently making improvised masks out of snorkels, buying kit from hardware stores and using school science goggles to protect themselves in anticipation of the rise in coronavirus cases.

However, Kevin with the help of the University Centres equipment and using his own time at home, has been able to 3D print the full face visors.  Some of Kevin’s Engineering students have also been able to get involved by providing assistance in the design process for the visors using CAD.

Kevin said:

” There were discussions about how the College and University Centre could do their part to help the NHS with the current pandemic with the equipment we have available.  It became apparent that we could assist in making visors for NHS staff, which they are in desperate need of, so I was more than happy to help.  Given the circumstances with social distancing students were unable to assist in the physical printing of the visors but it was great to have them involved in the design process.  It has been a pleasure to be part of this and has been good to give back to our NHS and to help in protecting the NHS staff who are doing a truly amazing job during this pandemic”.

Twenty Five visors where originally made and trialled at local pharmacies, GP Surgeries and at the Knowsley Resource Centre based at Whiston hospital.

Tina Blease, a Health and Social Care Lecturer at the college, who is currently working at the Knowsley Resource Centre during the Coronavirus pandemic was part of the trailing of the visors.  Tina said of this:

” The masks are fantastic quality and fit well on all of our staff as the headband is fully adjustable. This ensures they are well fitted and provide a good level of protection while we attend to the needs of our patients. The masks allow some of our expressions to be visible to our patients and due to their dementia diagnosis this supports reassurance and allows us to engage with them positively whilst protecting ourselves from Covid 19″.

Rachael Hennigan, Hugh Baird College Principal & Chief Executive, said:

“I am blown away by the hard work of all our students and staff, this is a great example of how people can come together for the good of our community. I would like to thank Kevin and the team, for working together, to be able to help in some way shape or form with the current situation.”

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