Loughborough Alumni

News

7 Apr 2020

Design and Technology teachers rally together to produce personal protective equipment

A group of Design and Technology alumni from Loughborough University have been working to produce protective masks for healthcare professionals, utilising their design and manufacturing skills.

Many alumni who are now working in Design and Technology (DT) departments at schools across the country are now contributing to the national effort by making use of resources available to them.

Alumnus Steve Newton (BSc Industrial Design & Technology with Education 2001 and PGCE Design & Technology 2002), Head of Design and Technology at Stamford School, featured in a BBC report last week, discussing the work and explaining the design and production process. Masks are produced using laser cutters, and one mask can be made every two minutes.

Steve said:

"Alongside many other DT departments across the country we have approached the NHS Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) shortage as a design challenge. 

“At Stamford we are extremely fortunate to have the equipment and skill set to make a real difference to members of our NHS. The design process took approximately 14 hours from initial concept to final prototype and we are now able to manufacture 1,000 a day. We will keep manufacturing as long as we have materials and a demand for the product - we're just glad we are able to help our amazing NHS workers”.

Richard Curtis, The Kings School, Chester; Kirby Dowler, John Taylor High School, Staffordshire; and Nicola Perkins, The Leys School, Cambridge are Head of DT at their respective schools. Along with David Holmes, Housemaster at Prior Park College, Bath, the group graduated from Loughborough in 2008 with Certificates in Education. They are now contributing time and resources to the production of protective equipment across the country.

Alumnus Kevin Lloyd, who graduated with a degree in Industrial Design & Technology with Education in 1998, is also manufacturing masks at Shrewsbury School. The school are also providing other forms of personal protective equipment and hand sanitiser to local healthcare facilities.

Alumna Nicola has been working with Steve, and her school have donated all their polypropylene sheets to Stamford School to support the effort. The Leys School have also donated all unused PPE to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge.

Nicola says:

“It is outstanding to see ex Loughborough teachers sign up as 'the home front' to help in the fight against the virus. The face mask will help the national health heroes stay safe in the immediate future. I am glad I have the skill set to share to do my little bit to help protect the NHS.”

Well done to everyone involved in this work.

Find out more about the schools, the alumni and their work towards the national effort Twitter: John Taylor High School; Kings School; Leys School; Prior Park College; Shrewsbury School; Stamford School.

The mask designs can be found on Kitronik and are downloadable for free

Are you a teacher who is supporting a similar project? Get in touch.

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Images: Steve Newton

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