One scientist has described easing lockdown as ‘lifting the lid on a boiling pan and it’s just going to bubble over’. As the UK starts to emerge from two months of lockdown, can engineers make small but key contribution to controlling the spread of infection in our public spaces, businesses, hospitals and transport systems?
From the screens and physical barriers we’re getting used to in our supermarkets to less visible measures like ventilation, air filtration and drainage, many technical interventions can be made along with more innovative solutions like antimicrobial surfaces and low-contact workplace practices.
Throughout the crisis engineers have been playing a critical role to deploy and optimise these engineering controls in our hospitals to limit hospital onset COVID-19. The Royal Academy of Engineering will publish a summary this week of the range of different engineering interventions and their role in this complex problem. The briefing also looked at issues like reopening buildings after weeks of closure, on which CIBSE recently published guidance.
Journalists joined the Royal Academy of Engineering and the SMC to hear from experts in this field.
Prof Catherine Noakes, FIMechE, Professor of Environmental Engineering for Buildings, University of Leeds, Chair of the SAGE Environmental Working Group
Pete Sellars, CEng FIHEEM, Chief Executive of the Institute of Healthcare Engineering and Estate Management (IHEEM)
Dr Shaun Fitzgerald, FREng FCIBSE FEI, Royal Academy of Engineering Visiting Professor at the University of Cambridge and member of the SAGE Environmental Working Group
Dr Felicity de Cogan, Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham and founder, NitroPep infection-resistant coatings; Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellow