Over 270 engineers from across the world have united to help solve challenges arising from the Covid-19 pandemic and call for healthcare workers to get in touch about their design issues.

The project, a collaboration between the Institution of Engineering Designers and Keele University, enables engineers and designers to join them and help tackle some of the biggest issues affecting the NHS and care providers. To date, over 270 qualified engineers from all disciplines across the world have volunteered their time and expertise.

The NHS and other care providers from 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 other care providers.

Some of the projects the engineers are working on include creating new visors for key staff, such as hazmat type protection which is more appropriate for surgeons and nurses whilst in the operating theatre; developing a new pandemic supply chain for Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) for times of crisis; working on the ventilator challenge; and foresighting issues that people have not yet thought about.

Leading the project, Professor Peter Ogrodnik, an expert in healthcare technologies from Keele University’s School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering, said: “I am so grateful for the philanthropic nature of the UK engineers. They are keen to do their bit in this crisis, and in future crises. More importantly they are doing so in very difficult circumstances where they could well be worried about their own loved ones.”

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 is now calling on industries large and small to join the network. 

Professor Ogrodnik added: “At the end of the day the devices the project designs have to be made, and the UK manufacturing base is of paramount importance to the success of this initiative. We are asking all NHS staff, those working in the care industry and those caring for loved ones at home or at a distance to supply issues that they are meeting in their daily lives. The project is committed to helping in any way it can, but primarily it aims to design, develop or source a solution that makes someone’s life better or easier. 

“If we can save one life, make just one member of NHS staff feel more secure, or if we can solve one small part of the PPE issue we will be very happy indeed. But, of course, we want to do much, much more.”

To volunteer your services sign up here, and NHS staff, care workers, and healthcare organisations that need help with solving an issue fill in this form. For more information please visit www.eng4nhs.org.