International award recognition for University of Portsmouth's face shield design
The University of Portsmouth has been selected as a finalist at the National Knowledge Exchange Awards in recognition of its work making face shields to protect healthcare professionals on the front line of the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.
The University has been nominated in the 'Knowledge Exchange Team of the Year' category. The Awards, which take place on 24 June, recognise and celebrate the best Knowledge Exchange achievements from around the world. Knowledge exchange is the transfer of ideas, research, expertise or skills between universities and business, communities, the third sector and government.
To date, over 10,000 shields have been provided to organisations such as the NHS, Police, Fire Service and social care providers. On top of this, the face shield design was made available for non-commercial use so others could make shields themselves (for personal use or to provide to those in need). The design has been downloaded over 1,000 times internationally.
Ted Turnbull, Senior Lecturer in Creative Technologies in the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, is in the collaborative team. He said: “We have received wholehearted thanks and very positive feedback from our partners and we continue to process orders where shields are still required, including care homes and schools.”
The team effort has been phenomenal, when we come out of the other side of the pandemic we can, as a University and a community, say ‘we did everything we could’.
An innovative team of academics, technicians and medical staff at the University and Portsmouth Hospital Trust came together and, drawing knowledge from the creative industries, engineering, science and technology, made use of their technical skills and facilities to create a new, rapidly manufacturable face shield design
The shields are safe, easy to use and fit on top of the approved personal protective equipment (PPE) equipment that workers in the health and social care sector are using - providing an additional layer of protection between staff and patients. In comparison to other designs, which take around one hour (some around 20 minutes) to produce using standard 3D printing technology, the new purely laser cut design reduces the time it takes to produce a face shield to less than 30 seconds.
Mr Turnbull said: “We have been able to draw on the creative and technical talent of staff from across the University to respond to the challenge faced by the NHS and the wider healthcare sector. This face shield helps reduce the risk of infection to staff and to the patients under their care. The team effort has been phenomenal, when we come out of the other side of the pandemic we can, as a University and a community, say ‘we did everything we could’.”