A team of three young engineers from Ghana have won the Field Ready Ventilator Challenge.
Students and alumni from Field Ready’s employability programmes in Mozambique and Ghana competed to design a simple, practical and scalable ventilator as a positive response to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The competition is run by Getenergy Field Ready Ltd, an organisation that operates employability programmes in Ghana, Mozambique and Nigeria for engineering graduates that bridge the gap between the skills learnt at university/college and the skills, knowledge and behaviours required by industrial companies
In times when ventilators have become topical in the world, it is interesting to note that when the competition started, there were just 34 ventilators in Mozambique and 75 in Ghana.
Overall, 16 teams, comprising 56 male and female engineers took up the challenge with six teams based in Mozambique and 10 from Ghana.
With competitors at home under pandemic restrictions, Field Ready saw the opportunity to leverage the talents of current and past students to do something that is reflective of the times.
Although the competitors all had an engineering background, none had any previous experience of designing ventilators.
Field Ready engaged 25 leading engineering and scientific experts from around the world as team mentors and judges, with the final judging taking place on April 29.
The expert panel was made up of leading figures from government, industry and academia from eight countries and included ventilator design project teams from M.I.T E-Vent, Virgin Orbit, Texas A&M and University of California Irvine Bridge Ventilator, Cranfield University and Georgia Tech Bag Valve Mask (BVM) ventilator, EPCM Holding’s ventilator, Kahanu ventilator and SEAT’s OxyGEN ventilator.
The judges were looking for designs that balanced engineering excellence with medical applicability and manufacturing practicality.
The expert panel were amazed by the quality and ingenuity of the designs and debate to find the top performing teams was fierce.
The winning project was designed Team Marvel, a team comprising Patience Nortey, Nelly Appertey and Ishmael Asare.
Their design uses a stepper motor to control a retractor belt to compress an Ambu bag [design is included below].
Second place was for Team SaveME from Ghana and third for Team United for a Better World from Mozambique.
Teams from Mozambique and Ghana are now collaborating to improve the winning design.
Siemens has partnered with Field Ready to work with the winning team in refining the design and to manufacture a prototype.
The top three designs will receive cash prizes and will also present their designs to Ministers in Ghana and Mozambique.
Field Ready have also applied for grants to finance the development, medical testing and local manufacture of the winning design.
The Ministry of Science and Technology, Higher Education and Professional and Vocational Education of Mozambique sees this initiative as a contribution of its sector in the government’s efforts to overcome COVID-19.
The initiative aims to test the skills of students to design a local, low cost solution that will benefit Mozambicans affected by COVID-19.
“This is a great example of a design engineering community coming together to create an innovation for social good. It is important to celebrate the significance of design and innovation,” competition judge, Professor Leon Williams stated.
Professor Williams, who is also the Director of the Centre for Competitive Design (C4D) at Cranfield University, said: “These young professionals have proposed some great ideas, demonstrating collective ingenuity and creativity. The standard of the designs was exceptional.”
“These young people have really demonstrated what can be achieved through working collaboratively and using their engineering skills to solve a real and pressing challenge. Congratulations to everyone involved,” he added.
Patience Nortey, a member of the winning team, Marvel, said: “We saw an opportunity where we could contribute our engineering skills to help solve a real need in our world today. Winning the competition is a testament to our hard work, collaboration and diligence, it is absolutely the best feeling ever!”
Managing Director of Field Ready, Jack Pegram said: “Everyone at Field Ready has been amazed by the response of the Field Ready students – with some incredibly innovative designs. It makes us very proud to be helping these talented young people become the engineering leaders of the future.”
Photos of the winners
- Dr Marti Pons, Paediatric Intensive Care Physician, SJD Barcelona Children’s Hospital, Spain
- Sebastiano Segantin, Maintenance Manager, Eni Ghana e&p
- Prof. Leon Williams, Professor of Design-Led Innovation and Head of Centre for Competitive Creative Design, Cranfield University, UK
- Dr Kai Matthes, Associate in Perioperative Anesthesia, Department of Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine, Boston Children’s Hospital, and Associate Professor of Anaesthesia, Harvard Medical School – USA
- Shakti Shaligram, Project Manager, Edgerton Center, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T)
- Michael Detienne, Research Associte, Space Nanotechnology Laboratory, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (M.I.T)
- Jeffrey Hayashida, Mechanical Engineer, Google – USA
- Dr Nathan Grower, Intensive Care Registrar and Anaesthetist, NHS – UK
- Dr Yasser Aljabi, Senior Orthopaedic Specialty Registrar – Germany
- Prof. Athanasios Kolios, Professor in Risk and Asset Management, University of Strathclyde, UK
- Dr Govind Rajan, Health Sciences Professor, Anesthesiology and Perioperative Care, University of California – USA
- Prof. Tryphon T. Georgiou, Distinguished Professor of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, University of California – USA
- Lawrence Adu-Gyamfi, Senior Installation Engineer, TechnipFMC, Ghana
- Francisco Augusto, Senior Manager, Production Operations, Sasol, Mozambique
- Prof. Najmedin Meshkati, Professor of Civil/Environmental Engineering and Industrial and Systems Engineering, University of Southern California – USA
- Prof. Yannis C. Yortsos is the Dean of the USC Viterbi School of Engineering and the Zohrab Kaprielian Chair in Engineering, University of Southern California – USA
- Daniel Taylor, Director of Energy, Southern & Eastern Africa, Siemens – South Africa
- Rogerio Samo Gudo, Chairman, Associação Industrial de Moçambique (AIMO) – Mozambique
- Trista Kallis-Ferrera, Manager, Respiratory Care Services, UC Irvine Health – USA
- Prof. Matthew Brenner, Interim Director, Beckman Laser Institute & Clinical Professor, Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine, Department of Medicine, UC Irvine School of Medicine – USA
- William Sell, Owner, Caltmore Engineering – USA
- Peter How, Mechanical Engineer, Undisclosed – USA
- Dr Justin Baker, Basic Physician Trainee, Flinders Medical Centre, Adelaide – Australia
- Tom Cowan, CEO, EPCM Holdings – South Africa
- Olin Lagon, Founder and CTO, Shifted Energy – USA
- Korkor Ohene-Gyan, Environmental and Social Performance, Tullow Ghana Ltd.
- Benjamim Langa, Deputy National Director of Science and Technology, Ministry of Science and Technology Mozambique
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