Lipscomb’s College of Engineering is busy protecting essential personnel who are participating in the mortal battle against COVID-19.

The Raymond B. Jones College of Engineering has created and donated over 400 plastic face shields to medical personnel in the Middle Tennessee Area, and there are nearly 200 more currently in production.

Leading this operation is Lipscomb’s Peugeot Center for Engineering Service headed by Steve Sherman, executive director, and Caleb Meeks, director of operations, along with Samuel Wright, the college’s engineering laboratory manager.

“Connecting engineering capabilities with those in greatest need has been at the core of our engineering college and of the Peugeot Center,” said David Elrod, dean of the College of Engineering.

“In this season, we are excited to find both virtual ways of staying connected with many of our international mission partners and to find new ways of serving our local communities.”

Caleb Meeks (L) and Samuel Wright (R) wear protective masks and gloves to make sure the face shields they make remain clean and safe for medical personnel in the battle against the COVID-19 pandemic.

These shields serve to help protect medical workers in the line of duty by placing a plastic mask in between practitioner and patient, protecting the eyes, nose and mouth from direct oral transmission from a patient.

 The design utilized by the engineers is an open source design originally created by Georgia Institute of Technology. 

“We’re using a high power, automated, laser system in our innovation lab to cut out the components,” said Elrod. “Having the tools in the innovation lab lets us readily produce face shields to help local providers.”

As safety of the medical personnel is of top priority to the engineers, during construction of the shields, staff is adhering to strict CDC guidelines, wearing gloves and masks as well as limiting the number of staff who are in the building on a given day.

Support as well as demand for this project has only continued to grow.

“We’ve had inquiries not only from medical providers and hospitals, but also from students who are requesting them for family members and loved ones who are on the front lines of health care,” said Elrod.

One of those students, junior mechanical engineering major Rachel Hohl expressed her gratitude for the shields she received last week.

“What you are doing is so so important and it makes me proud to be a Lipscomb engineering student,” said Hohl, who obtained 30 face shields for CRNAs and anesthesiologists at her mother’s workplace. “I really wish I could be on campus to help out.”

While the Peugeot Center may not be able to get masks to everyone in need, they have created a resource to allow anyone with internet access to be able to make a mask of their own. For more details on this tutorial please visit this link.

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