UWTSD rises to the challenge of helping the NHS and local communities to fight coronavirus

Uwtsd rises to the challenge of helping the nhs and local communities to fight coronavirus

Staff and students at University of Wales Trinity Saint David are using their innovative skills, knowledge and research to help the NHS and local communities to fight coronavirus.

Artists and designers from the University’s Swansea College of Art have turned their creativity to help the national fight against Covid-19. They have teamed up with children’s charity, Cerebra, to produce essential face visors for distribution to the care sector.

Led by Dr Ross Head from the Cerebra Innovation Centre, the team has been using the facilities in Swansea College of Art to produce visors for distribution to care homes across the city. Working long hours, laser cutting and assembling vital face visors, the team has been able to make the first run of 400 visors for delivery in just a couple of days.

The aim is to produce up to 5,000 visors to help plug any gaps in the supply of this important piece of PPE. Professor Ian Walsh said: “For this challenge we’ve pulled together a team from across Swansea College of Art and the Cerebra Innovation Centre to manufacture thousands of visors in a very short period of time. This has been a fantastic effort and thanks to the close relationship between UWTSD’s Swansea College of Art and Cerebra we’re able to make a real difference to protect those on the front line.

The University continues to provide support for SWARM (The South Wales Additive and Rapid Manufacturing Consortium) in its mission to support NHS Wales’ covid-19 response.

A dedicated team of Designers and Engineers from ATiC (Assistive Technologies Innovation Centre) and CBM (Centre for Batch Manufacturing) along with MADE Cymru (Manufacturing and Advanced Design Engineering) at UWTSD is working around the clock on a number vital projects to support NHS front line delivery.

MADE Cymru is a suite of EU-funded projects delivered by University of Wales Trinity Saint David (UWTSD) through its innovative research and design hub, Centre for Advanced Batch Manufacture (CBM).

Luca Pagano, Senior Research Engineer at MADE Cymru, has been collaborating with local response coordinator Paul Boyce and Swansea Council to supply PPE to local hospitals. He recently dropped off 3D printed protective face masks to Morriston Hospital.

Luca said: “The MADE Cymru team helps manufacturers in Wales adopt advanced manufacturing technologies to improve productivity. In the current scenario we have partially steered our capabilities to help the NHS in Wales fight Covid-19. Our expertise and technology allow us to bring concepts to full scale production rapidly, which is vital in a situation where time is critical. It is heartening to see so many other groups in the area collaborating and working together to make a positive impact.

Professor Robert Brown, CBM Wales Director said: “The key challenge facing Wales’ manufacturing sector is to mobilise rapidly and efficiently to meet the urgency of the situation. This is a unique crisis and we have to work together to provide the right equipment at the right time and in the right place to support our NHS heroes.

Nursing studies and professional healthcare students from the University’s Institute of Management and Health are providing front line care to patients in hospitals and the care sector in south West Wales.

Senior lecturers Gaynor Thomas and Beverley Holland from the University’s Wales Institute of Science and Art are making scrubs for healthcare staff at Swansea Bay University Health Board for The Love of Scrubs project.

Nick Jones, a 3rd year BEng Electronics Engineering student has been using his 3D printers to make visors for NHS frontline staff. He is part of a network brought together by Amman Valley Makespace Group to answer the urgent call for personal protective equipment (PPE).

Spare equipment has been donated to local hospitals and university accommodation is providing temporary homes and childcare facilities to key health care workers.

Professor Medwin Hughes, DL, Vice-Chancellor, said: “The University is proud that we can offer the services of our innovative research and design teams during these unprecedented times to support NHS Wales’ covid-19 response. These are powerful coalitions that make a difference, an aim that is at the heart of the University’s innovation strategy. Never has this been as important as it is in this context of empowering others and offering support with resilience and personal wellbeing central to our decisions.