iED & Keele Uni call for engineers to help solve NHS & healthcare issues amid COVID-19 pandemic

02 April 2020

IED & Keele University professor calls for engineers to help solve NHS & healthcare issues amid coronavirus pandemic_580x280

A new project, the Engineers for the NHS initiative, has been launched by the iED, in conjunction with Keele University, to unite engineers & designers from across the world to help solve challenges deriving from the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.

Professor Peter Ogrodnik, a biomedical engineer from Keele University, is leading the project in collaboration with the Institution of Engineering Designers (iED), who are calling for engineers and designers to join them and help tackle some of the biggest issues and immediate challenges 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. This is in addition to the initiative established by the Royal Academy of Engineering, which is coordinating top-down challenges from the NHS and government.

The NHS and other care providers across the world are suffering under the pressure of the COVID-19 outbreak. The project, called Engineers for the NHS, will enable engineers, designers and institutions to collaborate on challenges sent directly from the NHS or from other care providers across the world.

Professor Ogrodnik, an expert in healthcare technologies from Keele University’s School of Pharmacy & Bioengineering, said: “As (teaching & research) institutions, we have access to some of the best engineering design minds in the world, some of whom are at home with time on their hands. We are proposing that they could offer some of their spare time to a coordinated provision of engineers and designers, focused on solving 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.

Libby Meyrick, Chief Executive Officer for 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 across the globe. We would like institutions to enable their engineers to volunteer in this international effort.

The project has launched a new webpage for engineers to sign up to volunteer and will be available for the NHS and care providers to submit their issues they need support with. The problems the initiatives received will then be filtered through to different groups of engineers across the UK.

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