Press and Media

27th December 2020

Prof P J Ogrodnik: BBC Radio Stoke Interview with Rev Geoff.

18th December 2020

Penny Dawson-Malone: press release

ENG4- Innovations in Medical Technology and Public Health Information – Press release

A Global Software Company and a Professor at Keele University create an ‘ingenious film’ to help move this country out of the COVID-19 pandemic

The Team:

A Professor of Biomedical Engineering at Keele University established the group of highly skilled engineers in April of this year to assist with the NHS crisis regarding lack of ventilators.

Team leads were created.  These included a Hospital Doctor, an application engineer from ‘Ansys’ a Global Company, a Public Health Chartered Environmental Health Practitioner and a handful of ‘exceptionally’ skilled Engineers and Professionals.  A ‘ team’ of 300 volunteer engineers responded and were   set up to work alongside the project leads to find technical and innovative solutions to COVID-19.

The initiative was started by Professor Peter Ogrodnik who has 30 years in medical device research and development and leads both a Masters and PhD programme at Keele University.

Professor Peter Ogrodnik said, ‘We are trying to raise awareness of this project via different media channels and discussions with Hospital managers and Consultants. The collaborative is in the process of becoming a registered charity and we are actively seeking a Patron for the charity who can assist our mission.  It is exciting to find new technical and scientific solutions to COVID-19 and to be part of a dynamic, innovative team of volunteers who are passionate about the project and the tasks. A Patron would be a real asset to our charitable venture, to assist with our fund raising, by raising the Profile of ENG4, and our crown funding page:  https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/eng4nhs’

 The Technical Innovations:

The coalition of professionals are working with the Institution of Engineering Design (IED) developing innovative projects.  Some of these include the development of anti-microbial coatings to minimise viral transmission, protective face coverings and resourceful methods to open doors without hand contact.  Other innovations such as disinfection methods of hospital gowns are also underway.

The intention of this project is to go into production on UK Turf, meaning there will be an opportunity for the creation of new jobs. Some of the volunteers in this project worked for one of the biggest Engineering companies in the UK.  Due to the financial hit of the pandemic, some engineers and professionals are not back in position and therefore would benefit from such opportunities of potential re-employment and training in new fields to enhance their careers.

The Film Project -Poor Mask Wearing:

The storyboard above this text shows examples of Poor Mask Wearing.

The UK is severely affected by severe restrictions and repeating lockdowns. The economy could potentially ‘re-boot’ if people understood how to wear a mask correctly and understood the science of how this virus spreads.  ENG4 volunteers have seen, first-hand, the intrinsic battle regarding the lack of understanding over mask wearing by the population and how aerosols produced by speaking, coughing, singing or generally ill-fitting masks present a high risk of likely infection to others in their close proximity. Increasing the knowledge of the ‘science of mask wearing’ is likely to increase awareness and improve our behaviour by ‘nudging’ people to behave with consideration and improved understanding.  As such the ‘R’ Value and transmission of viruses should decrease and the risk of infection reduce, leading to a lifting of current lifestyle restrictions.

The animation software and modelling technology held by ‘Ansys’, combined with the knowledge of a Public Health professional  has produced a Public Health film in a supermarket setting with  digital ‘overlays’ of how COVID-19 aerosol transmission occurs in animation format caused by inappropriate mask wearing.

Penny Dawson Malone Chartered EHP said, ‘If people could see the aerosols produced by speaking, coughing, singing or by using a generally ill-fitting mask, then they would understand how a mask can protect others as well as themselves. It has been a fascinating opportunity to work with ‘Ansys’ Application Engineers and develop a film with scientific modelling which is based on peer reviewed journals in engineering and medicine’.

Other professional associations involved in endorsing the project are, ‘The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health’, ‘The Textile Institute’ and ‘The University of Nottingham Department of Media and Film Making’ who are planning to become part of the film making project.

It is the Doctor who holds a special interest in sustainability and medical textiles.  She is leading the project to develop reusable gowns with antimicrobial coatings on materials and fabrics, which will lead the project onto the prevention of landfill waste and assist with the sustainability of our environment.  

If you feel you could help with this project in any way, please contact Keele University Professor Peter Ogrodnik   – p.ogrodnik@keele.ac.uk