Engineering Saves Lives

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At the UTC we always encourage our students to apply their learning to the bigger picture, and to connect it to real life contexts and experiences. In the current Covid-19 crisis, engineers are saving lives every single day. Innovation is the bread and butter of an engineer and by coming up with new ideas and finding better ways to operate, engineers at all levels are contributing to the fight against the virus. 

UTC students, Jonty Horn and Janneke Riches, have both responded to requests for Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for frontline NHS staff by utilising 3D printing to manufacture face shields in their own homes. 

Year 13 student Janneke joined the UTC in 2016 and following the culmination of her studies plans to study a BA (Hons) in Product Design at university starting this September. Year 11 student Jonty has studied a STEM based curriculum of GCSEs at the UTC for the past two years and plans to continue his studies with the goal of a future career in engineering. 

The current nationwide shortage of PPE prompted both students to put their engineering skills into practise by finding a solution to the problem. Over the past month they have donated hundreds of face shields to various local health organisations free of charge. 

Our engineering staff have also been busy making face shields, using a design that has been developed and produced by Kitronik, a materials supplier for Design and Technology in schools. So far they have delivered 100 face shields to the Neonatal Ward at Lincoln County Hospital, and plan to continue to produce and supply the shields as needed. 

Mr Fielding, our Head of Engineering, has also been collaborating with engineering staff from other local secondary schools to produce valves for CPAP devices used to treat Covid-19 patients at Lincoln County Hospital.  

Experts have worked out that CPAP (sleep apnoea treatment) devices can be used for oxygen therapy on non-critical Covid-19 patients, preventing the need for an invasive ventilator. Patients have been shown to make a remarkable turnaround and full recovery as a result of this treatment.  

Mr Fielding responded to requests from United Lincolnshire Hospitals NHS Trust, and has been using 3D printing equipment from the UTC to print small batches of valves that allow the oxygen supply to enter the circuit of the CPAP device. 

John Morrison, Principal of Lincoln UTC said: “It’s fantastic to see both students and staff taking the initiative and using their experience and skills in engineering to help others in a time of crisis. Engineers across the world are saving lives and I’m so proud that members of the UTC are part of that effort.”