Binghamton University’s Watson School Donates Medical Supplies, Designs Ventilator Parts and Face Shields

In March 24, 2020

 Watson School faculty are working on a variety of prototypes for ventilator adapters that can use one ventilator for multiple patients.

The Thomas J. Watson School of Engineering and Applied Science at Binghamton University is stepping up on several fronts to help regional healthcare providers deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

“Binghamton University is offering important supplies and problem-solving skills to fight COVID-19 in our community,” said President Harvey Stenger. “We are ready to give whatever aid we can to reduce the effects of this virus among our friends and neighbors.”

With supplies at hospitals running low, the Department of Biomedical Engineering (led by Professor and Department Chair Kaiming Ye) donated several thousand disposable gloves, 600 surgical masks, 29 N95 masks and several disposable gowns to UHS hospitals.

Faculty members in the BME Department also have completed a prototype of an N95-like mask using a 3M electrostatically charged filter that is capable of capturing viruses, and they also have a design for sterilizing N95 masks using ultraviolet light.

Fuda Ning and Jia Deng, both assistant professors in the Department of Systems Science and Industrial Engineering, are working with Lourdes Hospital and UHS to design and 3D-print ventilator adapters that will allow more than one patient per machine if necessary. They are working on this project with Scott Schiffres, an assistant professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering.

Leading a plan to produce full-face shields is Vince Brady, the Watson School’s manager of engineering laboratories and learning environments. Contributing to the prototype are Schiffres, Deng, Mark Poliks (director of the Center for Advanced Microelectronics Manufacturing), Benson Chan (associate director of the Integrated Electronics Engineering Center) and others. With assistance from industry, they hope to produce a few thousand shields for medical workers.

“I am proud that the Watson School faculty and staff are uniting to face these unprecedented challenges,” said Watson School Dean Krishnaswami “Hari” Srihari. “It is a pleasure and an honor to work with them.”