LOUISVILLE, Ky. — Students at Louisville’s Speed School of Engineering are helping area hospitals by making personal protective equipment (PPE), for doctors and nurses on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic.
The school is building a statewide network with other organizations also capable of making gear.
It all happens at a training center at the Speed School.
3-D printers are making the shields that will eventually be used by doctors and nurses.
Graduate student Kate Schneidau is overseeing the project.
“I was always raised if you see somebody in trouble you help them out no questions asked.”
Schneidau and four undergraduate students at the school are using open-source blueprints and equipment the engineering school already had.
Schneidau says they are thrilled to be able to help.
“It’s been really nice to have the opportunity to help the medical staff who are on the front lines.”
Every student works an individual shift but they still practice social distancing if necessary.
“I don’t know if you can tell but we’re about 35 feet from each other.”
The group has been working for almost a week and has made more than 200 face shields that are used in conjunction with face masks or respirators.
Ed Tackett is the Director of Workforce Development for the school says when others around the state heard about the project they wanted to get involved.
“I posted last night on Facebook that we were doing this and I’ve got all kinds of people around Kentucky that have 3-D printers so we’re no coordinating a home network that they will bring her for final assembling.”
300 shields are expected to be delivered Wednesday to those needing them in Louisville and Tackett says the school is talking with other states that need help.
“We’re approaching it from what do we need to do to fill the gap until these medical centers, medical professionals can stabilize their supply chains.”
The work not only helps those who need it most, but it provides a constructive outlet for the students who say it helps them stay focused during these uncertain times.
“Being able to work on a project has definitely helped distract myself from what’s going one so I don’t get overwhelmed.”