IMechE launches engineering manual for dealing with COVID-19

Written by: Paul Fanning | Published:

​The Institution of Mechanical Engineers is launching a “manual” of best mechanical engineering practice and approaches for dealing with COVID-19, focusing on how to ensure people stay safe during the pandemic.

The manual is the work of the Institution’s COVID-19 task force which started work earlier this year when the crisis first struck.

Members of the Institution have been involved in efforts worldwide to defeat the virus, from helping to set up hospitals in the UK and Hong Kong to building ventilators in India. They have also contributed to the Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) which gives scientific and technical advice to the UK Government.

“Members of the Institution are making a major contribution to finding mechanical engineering approaches and solutions to the problems caused by COVID-19,” said Prof Joe McGeough, a past President of the Institution who leads the task force.

“This manual brings together best practice across many areas from around the globe. It highlights how engineers have worked to ensure that science is leading to practical solutions and also it considers how people in different parts of the world have reacted to the pandemic and what impact this has had.”

The document highlights the work that is being undertaken in a range of areas from virus transmission to building ventilation and air cleaning, to give a better understanding of what people and organisations can do to stay safe.

It also looks at how biomedical engineering is contributing to the management of the COVID-19 pandemic. Members of the Institution have been involved in developing new breathing devices to help patients, in one case building on existing patents to build a new device in less than two weeks.

The document is online on the Institution’s website and will be continuously updated to reflect developments in technology and the latest results from relevant trials.


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