GMIT staff are producing and delivering vital equipment and PPE materials for health care workers in hospitals, pharmacies, GP surgeries, and care settings across the west, in the race to stop the spread of Covid-19.
Business, engineering, science, and computing staff, together with researchers in GMIT’s Medical Engineering Technology (MET ) Gateway, are building ventilators (special purpose ), and producing face visors and shields while researchers are collaborating with teams in colleges such as NUI Galway’s Lambe Institute and Medical School, and UL.
With GMIT closed to students and staff since March 12, many of the staff have been producing from their homes across the west and mid-west while others are working from GMIT’s Medical Engineering Technologies (MET ) Gateway at the Dublin Road (Galway city ) campus.
GMIT’s entire inventory of 3D printers - 11 printers in total, from the Centre for Creative Arts and Media, Letterfrack campus and Dept of Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, has been entered in the NUIG Ventilator 3D printer support platform for use by ventilator and other Medtech device manufacturers.
Dr Orla Flynn, President of GMIT, said; “Last week, over 80 GMIT staff volunteers were joined by HSE staff in the Contact Tracing Centre in the Dublin Road campus, recently established in partnership with the HSE. Volunteers are operating two shifts each day, seven days a week. Over 25 staff at the Mayo campus have completed training and the centre there (Castlebar ) is expected to open shortly. The centres are managed by Dr Seamus Lennon, GMIT registrar (acting ) in partnership with the HSE’s Brian Murphy, assistant national director, strategic planning”.
Dr Gerard MacMichael, head of GMIT’s School of Engineering, expressed great pride in the response of GMIT staff. He said; “We have been very encouraged by the numbers of staff who have initiated Covid-19 related projects and those staff who have volunteered to get involved directly and indirectly with their support in the background. We are immensely proud of their enthusiasm and energy.”
These sentiments were echoed by Dr Rick Officer, GMIT vice president for research and innovation. He said; “The great response of GMIT staff to the Covid-19 emergency has shown fabulous breadth and depth. Staff working directly on Covid-19 projects have tremendous support from GMIT colleagues in our administrative, technical, and building services teams”.