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Making a Difference at the USF College of Engineering How USF Engineering students, faculty and staff are helping in the fight against COVID-19

Sending 3D Printed Face Shields to Tampa's Healthcare Professionals

One of the biggest impacts that USF College of Engineering staff had on the COVID-19 outbreak locally is through a months-long effort to 3D print face shields and face mask add-ons at the Mini-Circuits Design for X Lab. Made with Mylar, elastic and foam, the shields were designed to be worn by healthcare professionals over their masks for extra protection against airborne fluids and particles. Most were printed in under a minute through an assembly line-style process involving USF engineering students and staff at the DFX Lab. By May, more than 8,000 face shields were donated to partners at Tampa General Hospital and USF Health.

Also fabricated at the DFX Lab, more than 500 "ear savers" were produced by May. These face mask add-ons allow a healthcare professional to fasten a mask to the back of their neck instead of around their ears, which can bite into one's ears and cause headaches.

Affordably 3D-printed "ear savers" help healthcare professionals wear face masks more comfortably during 14-hour shifts.
Efforts by faculty and staff at the DFX Lab to 3D print PPE were reported by a host of local media outlets throughout the spring.

Watch some of the local media highlights, including a thank-you from USF College of Pharmacy Dean Kevin Sneed, Ph.D., covering efforts from USF College of Engineering students, faculty and staff to make a difference in the fight against COVID-19.

Faculty PPE Drive

One of the first faculty efforts in the fight against COVD-19 was a drive for personal protective equipment (PPE) in March organized by USF Civil and Environmental Engineering professor Katherine Alfredo, Ph.D. Alfredo collected gloves, masks and face shields, which were donated to USF Health and local hospitals.

Right: The PPE donated by USF community members during professor Katherine Alfredo's PPE drive in March

An active member of the USF and Tampa community online, USF Civil and Environmental Engineering professor Maya Trotz, Ph.D., created a video series on YouTube titled COVID-19 All Hands On Deck featuring tips for USF and Tampa community members during the COVID-19 pandemic in addition to useful information from her Twitter account. See her video below on how one can make face shields from affordable materials.

Operation: Engineering, How Are You Doing?

An ongoing video series hosted by USF College of Engineering Dean Robert Bishop, Ph.D., Operation: Engineering, How Are You Doing? has helped college faculty and staff stay connected while working remotely this spring and summer. Uploaded on YouTube, the series features updates from Dean Bishop, ways to give back to the USF Tampa community, and projects faculty and staff work on in their spare time.

Yogi Goswami and Molekule Air

USF Clean Energy Research Center Director and chief scientist and co-founder of Molekule, Yogi Goswami, Ph.D., has spent months testing the Molekule Air air purifier's capabilities for destroying viruses like the novel coronavirus that causes COVID-19. Hear how he hopes to deliver Molekule Air units around the world in this WTSP 10 interview.

Media outlets local and national covered the efforts of Dr. Goswami and Molekule to help stop the spread of the novel coronavirus.

USF COVID-19 Rapid Response Research Network Grant Program

Several USF College of Engineering faculty members are PIs in research projects funded through the USF COVID-19 Rapid Response Research Network Grant Program. The projects of additional faculty can be found in the second round of funded research projects through the program.

Dr. Venkat Bhethanabotla

Self-Contained Acoustic Isolation and Detection System (SCAIDS) for SARS-CoV-2 and its Antibodies

Dr. Salvatore Morgera

Sniffing out COVID-19: A Novel Nanofilm Detector System