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BREAK-THROUGH: Ghanaian engineers win ‘’Field Ready Ventilator Challenge

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.

When the competition started, there were just 34 ventilators in Mozambique and 75 in Ghana.

Sixteen 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 amazing.

While all had an engineering background, none had 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 Ms Patience Nortey, Ms Nelly Appertey and Mr Ishmael Asare [photos included below].

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.

Ms Patience Nortey, a member of 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.”

About Field Ready Ltd

The competition is ran 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.

Contact: Jack Pegram, Managing Director
Phone: +44 (0) 7847 999 363

Email: jack@getfieldready.com

Top Designs

Image 1: First Place, Team Marvel

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