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USF medical engineers mass producing face shields for healthcare workers

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Posted at 10:42 AM, Mar 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-30 10:42:23-04

TAMPA, Fla. -- The University of South Florida College of Engineering is producing one face shield every minute to help local healthcare workers facing a supply shortage during the coronavirus pandemic.

The college has already delivered 100 face shields to Tampa General and hopes to manufacture 10,000 over the next month.

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"USF Engineering is totally committed to supporting our medical front line workers and local community,” Michael Celestin, PhD, said. “As we come together and find new local manufacturing solutions, build new interdisciplinary ties, and are pressed to innovate with available resources, it's clear that we will emerge stronger than before."

According to a press release, the USF Mini-Circuits Design for X Laboratory developed the assembly line under the direction of Celestin.

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“This is the first time we’ve had a medical emergency that’s required engineers to partner with the Morsani College of Medicine in an effective and fast way,” said Robert H. Bishop, PhD, PE, dean of the USF College of Engineering. “We are facing a real-world crisis where we need to deliver and that’s exactly what we are doing.”

In addition to the face shields, USF says researchers from a variety of disciplines are working to develop new methods to combat COVID-19 and to produce material to help better protect the medical community.

“We face a national shortage of personal protective equipment and our USF College of Engineering is helping to fill the gap with their innovative design and production approach to help protect our frontline providers,” said Charles J. Lockwood, MD, senior vice president of USF Health and dean of the Morsani College of Medicine.