FIU Biomedical Engineering Students and Faculty Serving the Community During COVID-19 Crisis
The world is going through difficult times and our duty as biomedical engineers is to help others with our knowledge when they need us the most.
Supporting President Rosenberg’s initiative to supply Face Shields to the Baptist Health Hospital workers, Richard Zicarelli, Coordinator for Engineering Manufacturing Center, was asked by John Volakis, Dean of the College of Engineering & Computing, to coordinate the effort with all of the College of Engineering & Computing departments, including our Biomedical Engineering Department.
Students then decided to take home the 3D printers normally used at the FIU labs.They worked day and night in an effort to print as many face shields as possible. Also, other students started working with their printers at home to support the initiative.
It feels amazing, as a biomedical engineering, it is pretty fulfilling getting to manufacture parts which are actively helping medical professionals during the current COVID-19 situation. Expressed Isaac Ghobrial, a Biomedical Engineering (BME) student that has printed more than 150 Face Shields at his house.
Dr.Yun Quian, BME Instructional Laboratory Coordinator, who is also part of this hard-working team said with enthusiasm: The Department of Biomedical Engineering has been educating and encouraging students to creatively initiate and develop engineering solutions for practical problems through collaboration and teamwork. We are happy helping our communities.
Currently, Florida International University has given a total of 2,344 Face Shields divided into different institutions including Baptist Health Hospital, FIU First Responders, City of Miami Fire Rescue, Miami Dade Fire Rescue and Citrus Health Hialeah, and will continue its support.
It is a great feeling knowing that we can do something to help. The true heroes are those on the front line, that are facing exposure every day. If our efforts help just keep one person from becoming infected, then to me the entire effort is worth it, said Richard Zicarelli.
Our students are committed to the cause and feel amazed and proud of the positive impact that their learnings and experiences bring to society. That is the case of Edwin Robledo who has two printers at home and with the help of his father, has been working nonstop. It is fulfilling to finally use one of my technical skills to make an impact on a real-world global issue. I am just glad I was given the opportunity to even be a part of this initiative said Edwin.
More BME students are also motivated in helping the community with their knowledge. Brigette Manohar started helping a hospital located in Boca Raton when she read through a Facebook group that they needed help. She (the researcher) had been making these make-shift masks. However, it was getting overwhelming for her so I decided to take over and make the masks. However, I bought a 3D printer to print a mask for my cousin who is a frontline worker, so I decided to 3D print an easy, flexible, quick shield for the hospital to distribute along with the makeshift shields I have been making” Said Brigette Manohar, who is also being supported with the help of Dr. Andres Pena and our undergraduate student Kim Doan.
The FIU Biomedical Engineering Department is proud and amazed by all the help that our students and faculty are giving to the community in these difficult times. It demonstrates the great team of professionals, but most importantly, the great team of incredible humans that are capable of anything to help the society with their knowledge.