College of Engineering and Technology Build Reusable Face Shields for Front Line Workers
Virginia State University College of Engineering and Technology has put its ingenuity to work to provide assistance for local front line workers.
The VSU Student Health Center has a partnership with Bon Secours Mercy Health-Southside Regional Medical Center (SRMC). The VSU Leadership Team reached out to the Student Health Center to assess the need for gloves, masks, and face shields in the local clinical setting. Once Student Health determined that there was a need at SRMC, Dr. Dawit Haile, Dean of the College of Engineering and Technology and the VSU Leadership team seized the opportunity to assist the local community.
Inspired by news reports that doctors and nurses who are fighting COVID-19 were in desperate need of face shields, a team of faculty from Engineering and Technology used their 3D printer facility to manufacture components needed to produce the face shields.
The face shields are not FDA-regulated medical devices. It took a few different prototypes to come up with a final design. The main focus was to design a product that is reusable, easy to clean, easy to assemble, comfortable to wear and that could be readily available to protect our front line workers.
As a result, ten (10) reusable face shields were delivered to SRMC in April. An additional fifty (50) face shields were delivered to the facility this week.
“The engineering team is working to secure a more upgraded plastic for the shield and improve the manufacturing design for the headband,” says Dr. Haile. “While the current product is appropriate, we continue to seek for ways to improve the manufacturing design of the face shield, and we look forward to delivering more face gear in the near future.”
In addition to the face shields, VSU also donated gloves, masks and goggles to front line workers at SRMC. “Our local front line workers are taking care of our local community,” says Dr. Donald Palm, VSU Provost and Senior Vice President for Student and Academic Affairs. “We are grateful for this opportunity to give back to our local heroes by helping to protect them in this pandemic.”