Innovating for a cause: Find out how Georgia Southern University is manufacturing 3D printed PPE for healthcare workers

Innovating for a cause: Find out how Georgia Southern University is manufacturing 3D printed PPE for healthcare workers

May 18, 20202 min read

As the COVID-19 pandemic unfolded and healthcare organizations began experiencing shortages of personal protective equipment (PPE), faculty, staff and students at Georgia Southern University stepped up to fulfill a need. 

Making use of the 3D printers on the Statesboro and Armstrong campuses, as well as at the FabLab at the Business Innovation Group’s (BIG) downtown Statesboro location, the campus communities quickly began production of protective face shields and respirators. 

“We can’t afford to sit back and wait for things to happen,” said Dominique Halaby, DPA, director of the BIG. “We have to make them happen. We have this responsibility to make a difference, to be a part of that front line, whether it’s immediately in our community, our state or our respective area.” 

To date, the Department of Manufacturing Engineering has sent 200 3D-printed protective face shields with headbands to Augusta, Georgia, for healthcare workers at Augusta Medical Center, while the BIG has sent 100 face shields and 10 “Montana Masks,” a 3D-printable respirator filtration mask that can be fitted to a healthcare provider’s face and sanitized between uses, to Atlanta-area hospitals. 

The Department of Mechanical Engineering on the Armstrong Campus has also printed Montana Masks that will be delivered to workers in the St. Joseph’s/Candler Hospital System (SJCHS) in Savannah, Georgia, while the Respiratory Therapy Program in the Waters College of Health Professions donated 10 ventilators to the Georgia Emergency Management Agency. 

“I am unbelievably proud of our faculty, staff and students who have their own families to take care of, but are putting themselves on the line to help our medical professionals in this time of critical need,” said Mohammad Davoud, Ph.D., dean of the Allen E. Paulson College of Engineering and Computing. 

Wayne Johnson, Ph.D., professor of mechanical engineering, believes providing these materials to the Savannah community during a time of critical need is reinforcing a longtime commitment to the region.

“The Armstrong Campus of Georgia Southern has a long history of working within the Savannah community, and during this pandemic, it was especially important for mechanical engineering faculty and students at the Armstrong Campus to step up during a time of great need,” said Johnson. “ Our work with SJCHS to develop, test and donate 3D-printed respirators may also lead to other research and development collaborations in the post-COVID-19 future.” 

In addition to benefiting area healthcare workers, Johnson believes this project is a great way for students to put their classroom skills into practice. 


If you would like to learn more about how the students, staff and faculty at Georgia Southern University are helping out during the COVID-19 crisis – the let our experts help.


Wayne Johnson is an expert in additive manufacturing, mechatronics, biomechanics and engineering education. He is available to speak with media about this great initiative, simply click on his icon to arrange an interview today.

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