Professor calls for engineers to help solve NHS and healthcare issues amid pandemic

A new project has been launched to unite engineers from across the world to help solve challenges deriving from the Covid-19 pandemic.

Professor Peter Ogrodnik, a biomedical engineer from Keele University, is leading the project in collaboration with the Institution of Engineering Designers, who are calling for engineers and designers to join them and 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 and testing surgical masks after they've been sterilised.

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 and Bioengineering, said: “As 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 suggesting that they could supply some of their spare time to a coordinated provision of engineers and designers focussed on solving the 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 receive will then be filtered through to different groups of engineers across the UK.