Kent technicians recognised for Covid-19 community impact in industry awards

Olivia Miller

Technicians at Kent have been shortlisted for a Papin Prize, the UK’s only awards dedicated to celebrating technical excellence and innovation in higher education and research.

The Kent Technical Services Covid-19 PPE Response Team has been recognised for playing a significant role in the community response to Covid-19, producing 4,990 3D printed face shields for frontline care services providers in the Kent region and the NHS.

Colleagues from Kent’s School of Computing, School of Architecture and Planning, School of Engineering, School of Physical Sciences and School of Biosciences collaborated to design and supply the 3D face shields on-site for 11 organisations between April 2020 and July 2020.

Initially, 300 shields were requested, produced, and supplied to East Kent’s largest hospice charity, Pilgrim’s Hospices and were gratefully received by staff battling against the Covid-19 pandemic. After supplying Pilgrims Hospices, the Covid-19 PPE response team then had a number of requests for face shields from local medical centres and charities.

The 3D face shields went on to successfully receive CE marking after inspection from the UK national standards body, BSI.

Paul Sinnock, Deputy Director of Information Services and the Technical Lead of the project, said: ‘The project team is delighted to be shortlisted for this national award. We are proud to have had such an impact on the local community, at a time when an innovative product was needed the most.’

Carole Barron, Director of Knowledge Exchange and Innovation, said: ‘This is a fantastic achievement – all involved worked so hard to produce these shields for our community, sharing knowledge, skills and equipment throughout the project.’

Winners of the 2021 Papin Prizes will be announced at an Awards ceremony at the biannual Higher Education Technician Summit (HETS) 2021 on 10 November at the East Midlands Conference Centre, University of Nottingham.