Engineering Through a Pandemic: Protection for the Front Line
On March 6, 2020, Alberta counted its first presumptive case of COVID-19.
Almost immediately, professional engineer Rafiq Ahmad, PhD, and his team at the University of Alberta set out to create a new type of respirator for front-line workers that was not only effective in filtering out the virus, but was comfortable, too. Within two months, they had a working prototype.
A model of ingenuity, the respirator uses a snorkeling mask, hoses, a battery-powered fan, and an A95 filter system to provide 10-12 hours of protection to the wearer. Parts of the fan housing and battery port can be made with a 3D printer at the university.
Further testing is needed, but Dr. Ahmad says his team is nearing the finish line. Next items on the agenda: securing additional funding and finding partners to bring the respirator into real-life scenarios.
Once given the green light, the respirator will aid in Alberta’s fight against the deadly pandemic.
A team out of the University of Alberta has created its answer to the COVID-19 pandemic: a respirator that uses a snorkeling mask, hoses, a battery-powered fan, and an A95 filter system.
Dr. Rafiq Ahmad, P.Eng., models a respirator his team created using a snorkeling mask.