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Designers and engineers needed to help solve Covid-19’s challenges

With the NHS and other care providers across the world suffering under the pressure of the Coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak, a new project has been launched to unite engineers and designers to help solve some of the epidemic’s challenges.

The Institution of Engineering Designers is calling for engineers and designers to help tackle some of the biggest issues affecting the NHS and care providers, which could include creating a device to enable a frail person to accept a food parcel, the mass production of ventilators or testing surgical masks after they’ve been sterilised.

Professor Peter Ogrodnik, a biomedical engineer from Keele University’s School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering, is leading this ‘Engineers for the NHS’ project, which will enable engineers, designers and institutions to collaborate on challenges sent directly from the NHS or from other care providers across the world.

Peter Ogrodnik

An expert in healthcare technologies, Professor Ogrodnik said: “As institutions, we have access to some of the best engineering design minds in the world, many of whom are now at home with time on their hands.

“We are suggesting that they could supply some of their spare time to help solve problems deriving from the Covid-19 outbreak. Clearly, the ventilator shortage is foremost in everyone’s minds, but there are other issues too, many of which can be solved by the collective thoughts of engineers across the world.”

The project has launched a new webpage for engineers to sign up and volunteer.

NHS and care providers can submit their urgent issues that they need solved here. The problems the initiative receives will then be filtered through to different groups of engineers across the UK.

Libby Meyrick, chief executive officer of the Institution of Engineering Designers, said: “Unless our engineers and designers know of the issue, no solution can be forthcoming. We therefore intend to lead a project that enables all of our members to collaborate on problems sent directly from the NHS or from other care providers around the globe. We would like institutions to enable their engineers to volunteer in this international effort.”

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