News Release: SUNY Poly Faculty and Staff Begin Manufacturing Personal Protective Equipment to Assist Front-Line Medical Workers
For Release: Immediate – April 2, 2020
Contact: Steve Ference, Director of University Communications | (518) 956-7319 | email@example.com
PPE Manufacturing Among Several Institutional Efforts Being Made to Combat the Spread of COVID-19
ALBANY AND UTICA - SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly) is using 3D printing technology to help mitigate a national shortage of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health care workers by manufacturing parts for face shields, enabled by funding from Oneida County, in addition to receiving PPE provided by the Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Marcy that will also be distributed. It’s just one of several ways the institution is assisting to help slow the spread of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19), in addition to donating bedding to support area medical personnel.
“I am extremely proud of the SUNY Poly faculty, staff, and students who, through their talents and generosity, are utilizing our institutional technology to help protect those who tirelessly work night and day to care for COVID-19 patients,” said SUNY Poly Interim President Dr. Grace Wang. “SUNY Poly will continue to assist our communities, state, and country through continued, proactive measures to help those most in need during this pandemic, potentially saving countless lives.”
Face shield components are being printed 24/7 by SUNY Poly Empire Innovation Professor of Nanobioscience Dr. Nate Cady, who also serves as executive director of the SUNY Applied Materials Research Institute (SAMRI), in Albany. The parts are being fabricated based on a design shared by a team at SUNY New Paltz who will assemble and distribute the face shields to front medical workers.
“For me, this is a great opportunity to be part of the larger effort against COVID-19, and I am thankful for our partnership with SUNY New Paltz which provided the plans that have been successfully used to print this invaluable PPE,” said Dr. Cady. “It means so much to be part of the solution, no matter how small that part may be, and we look forward to helping in any way we can for as long as it’s needed.”
Dr. Michael Carpenter, Associate Professor and Interim Dean of the College of Engineering, said with current social distancing health guidelines in place, 3D printing labs at the institution’s Center for Global Advanced Manufacturing (CGAM) in Utica are prototyping the New Paltz design and will be able to produce 50 face shields during normal working hours each day. Using a laser cutter, hundreds of additional face shields can be fabricated per day.
“The CGAM work is a collective effort between students, staff, and faculty, and it is great to see the SUNY Poly team participating in the larger initiative against COVID-19. Furthermore, as an extension of the SUNY Poly effort, we have also invited the New York State network of FIRST robotics teams to participate in the 3D printing of these designs as they are able from each participant’s location.”
In response to the latter effort, one of the FIRST Tech Challenge teams, Enderbots 5484, based in Corning, New York, has already 3D printed dozens of PPE components which were sent to SUNY Poly for distribution to healthcare workers, and more are expected from the dozen teams that have been recruited to assist.
Additionally, hundreds of face shields will be produced with tools being utilized by Brian Taylor, Manager of Engineering Support Services, and his team at the Albany campus.
Oneida County has generously provided funding to help with this initiative and will distribute face shields where the need is greatest. The Wal-Mart Distribution Center in Marcy has also contributed PPE for the effort. Of note, The Wal-Mart Distribution Center, with the Compassion Coalition, also recently donated refrigerators and microwaves for those students with a need who remained on campus as a result of special circumstances.
SUNY Poly has also donated 140 sets of sheets, blankets, pillows, and towels it had in its inventory to Mohawk Valley Health System for them to use in the Burrstone House as doctors rest between shifts.
On the academic front, students who are enrolled in SUNY Poly’s Mathematical Modeling class are working to couple epidemiological models with models of social pandemic responses to analyze and evaluate different possible social responses based on metrics and statistics. Their goal is to ultimately show how certain forms of social distancing can mitigate risks to individuals’ mental health.
Faculty and staff are also donating additional supplies which can help protect healthcare workers, including masks, gowns, and face shields, with all efforts employing social distancing and following other current health guidelines. For the latest updates and information related to SUNY Poly’s COVID-19 efforts, please visit: sunypoly.edu/covid19.
View a video of the PPE effort by faculty and students here:
View a video of the PPE effort by staff here: https://youtu.be/1c5aqvc7gmQ
About SUNY Polytechnic Institute (SUNY Poly)
SUNY Poly is New York’s globally recognized, high-tech educational ecosystem. SUNY Poly offers undergraduate and graduate degrees in the emerging disciplines of nanoscience and nanoengineering, as well as cutting-edge nanobioscience programs at its Albany campus, and undergraduate and graduate degrees in technology, including engineering, cybersecurity, computer science, and the engineering technologies; professional studies, including business, communication, and nursing; and arts and sciences, including natural sciences, mathematics, humanities, and social sciences at its Utica campus; thriving athletic, recreational, and cultural programs, events, and activities complement the campus experience. As the world’s most advanced, university-driven research enterprise, SUNY Poly boasts billions of dollars in high-tech investments and hundreds of corporate partners since its inception. For information visit www.sunypoly.edu.