Don’t Hate, Isolate: Southampton Student Engineers Aiding the NHS Frontline


The parts required for these masks.

From the chaos and uncertainty of the coronavirus crisis, many displays of incredible human good will and co-operation have become clear, and things are no different at the University of Southampton. 

Engineers, led by Fergus McKenzie-Wilson who is a student and the Chief Technology Officer of the drone company ‘Hydra’, have come together to use their skills and technology made available to them to 3D print much needed personal protective equipment (PPE). Many care homes, hospitals, and medical facilities have reported inadequate protection against Covid-19, making projects like these invaluable.

The team involved in this innovative project







McKenzie-Wilson shared:

The NHS is in dire need of personal protective equipment to support those tirelessly putting their lives on the line in the fight against the coronavirus. As the general public, we are infinitely grateful to the NHS staff and owe them a great debt. One of the most pressing issues on the frontline is a lack of personal protective equipment (PPE), including the full facial shields, needed to safeguard staff members.

A significant portion of the PPE can be rapidly manufactured by 3D printing – a skill that lies at the heart of the engineering courses here at the University of Southampton. We are a group of current and former engineering students using this incredible technology to print, assemble and distribute full facial shields with the help of generous donations from the public to a fundraising campaign. So far we have successfully manufactured 200 face shields for our local NHS.

The group began fundraising and their production has increased immensely, raising over £5,000 to create the masks which cost £3 per unit. Their fundraising is ongoing.

The group said:

This is a time in which uncertainty is at an unprecedented level, but we can take comfort in the certainty that we can work together with industry, the health service and the general public to collectively solve the great challenges facing us.

Congratulations and best wishes to all involved in this innovative and life-saving project, representing the compassion and talent our university has to offer.

To donate to their campaign please click here.

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