COVID-19 Engineering Solutions: In the News
In response to the novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19), researchers at the University of Maryland’s A. James Clark School of Engineering are working tirelessly to create solutions and pool resources in efforts to minimize the spread of the disease, provide critical aid to health care workers and their patients, and monitor the impact of social distancing and travel restrictions. Read more about these efforts here.
Select media coverage of the Clark Schools response efforts includes:
Aerosol Study for Music Activities
A University of Maryland research team joins a number of organizations to study the effects of COVID-19 on performing arts classrooms and performance venues by examining aerosol rates produced by instrumentalists, vocalists, and even actors and how quickly those aerosol rates accumulate in a space.
- Science, Is it safe to strike up the band in a time of coronavirus?, July 17
- Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Band camp will go on, but will the halftime show?, July 15
- Tampa Bay Times, Marching bands aren’t sure how to handle the pandemic. So they commissioned two studies involving spit., June 26
Understanding Spread via HVAC Systems
Clark School faculty provide expert commentary on whether air conditioning use may be a factor in spiking COVID-19 cases.
- Erie News Now, A Connection Between Coronavirus and Air Conditioners?, July 17
- TODAY Show, Air Conditioners Spreading Coronavirus?, July 16
Mobile Testing Booths
As testing for COVID-19 ramps up across the country, the safety of medical personnel who administer the tests remains a high-priority concern, particularly at pop-up testing sites assembled in public spaces. Recognizing this, Clark School researchers working in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University and the Baltimore City Health Department are developing a low-cost, rapidly deployable mobile testing booth—similar to a traditional phone booth in both size and shape.
- WJZ, Mobile COVID-19 Testing Booths Help Health Care Providers Test Patients Without Risking Own Health, June 15
As society tries to rebound from the coronavirus pandemic, some scientists hope a decades-old technology could zap pathogens out of the air in stores, restaurants and classrooms, potentially playing a key role in containing further spread of the infection. It has the ungainly name of upper-room ultraviolet germicidal irradiation, and it is something like bringing the power of sunlight indoors.
- New York Times, Scientists Consider Indoor Ultraviolet Light to Zap Coronavirus in the Air, May 7
Big Data Analysis of Human Mobility Behavior
Using big data from mobile devices such as smartphones, GPS devices, and sensors located along highways and roads, researchers are providing a real-time picture of where people are traveling, how their behaviors can affect the spread of COVID-19, and how the pandemic is impacting the economy. UMD researchers have made their data and findings, which are updated daily, available to the public in order to help officials make informed decisions
- Washington Post, Beaches, bars, boredom: Why infections are climbing again in D.C., Maryland and Virginia, July 25
- WTTG, University of Maryland researchers tracking summer travel say stay put, July 17
- CNN, Is the summer road trip spreading the coronavirus?, July 10
- Washington Post, U.S. traffic has rebounded to about 90 percent of pre-pandemic levels, analysts say, June 19
- Capital Gazette, Prince George’s County ready to start reopening Monday, with ability to test 9,000 a week, May 28
- Forbes, Out-Of-State Trips Rose By 22% After Lockdowns Started Lifting, May 11
- Washington Post, Smartphone data shows out-of-state visitors flocked to Georgia as restaurants and other businesses reopened, May 7
- Good Morning America, More states ease restrictions on restaurants, theaters and retail, May 1
- Washington Post, ‘Quarantine fatigue’ continues for second week, showing a worrisome trend, researchers say, April 28
- The New York Times, ‘Quarantine Fatigue’ Has More People Going Outside, April 27
- USA Today, Is quarantine fatigue here? Americans are leaving their homes more and more, cell data shows, April 27
- TODAY Show, Americans with ‘quarantine fatigue’ are heading out of the house, research says, April 27
- Cheddar TV, Quarantine Fatigue as the Weather Heats Up, April 27
- New York Post, Americans may be suffering ‘quarantine fatigue,’ going out more, study says, April 26
- Washington Post, ‘Quarantine fatigue’: Researchers find more Americans venturing out against coronavirus stay-at-home orders, April 25
- The Hill, New platform shows how states are adhering to social distancing measures, April 15
- Washington Examiner, Just 35% staying at home, tiny 4.3% changed ‘mobility behavior’ to fight virus, April 14
- ABC7, New index shows who is best at social distancing; See how where you live ranks, April 14
- WTOP, Are Americans staying at home? U.Md. researchers say many are ignoring orders, April 14
Engineering faculty and students are using their lab capabilities to produce hand sanitizer for area first responders, as well as UMD staff and students who remain on campus.
- WJZ, University Of Maryland Professor, Students Make ‘Terp Sanitizer’ Amid Coronavirus Pandemic, April 16
- WUSA9, UMD engineering students making 'TERPsanitizer' to fight coronavirus spread, April 1
TechPort, a UMD-supported business incubator in St. Mary’s County, is working to produce face shields, breast pumps-turned-ventilators, and a device to sterilize PPE using heat. The efforts include Alex Scott, a 2018 graduate of the Clark School.
- WYPR, Dust Off That Old Breast Pump - It Might Help In The Fight Against COVID-19, April 13
- New York Post, Engineers convert breast pumps into ventilators to combat coronavirus shortages, April 8
- WUSA9, Maryland engineers working to turn breast pumps into ventilators, April 6
- NBC4 Washington, University of Maryland Tech Port Developing Oven to Sterilize PPE, April 4
Protection Collections for Local Health Care Workers
Units across the Clark School and UMD are collecting and donating supplies to local health care providers facing looming equipment shortages as the outbreak expands.
- WTOP, University of Maryland lab supplies donated to local hospitals, April 11
- Baltimore Sun, University of Maryland providing masks, personal protective equipment to hospitals, March 30
Published April 27, 2020