Johns Hopkins Hosts Ebola Protection Equipment Design Contest

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Think of it like Project Runway, but instead of trying to please Nina Garcia, the contestants are trying to save lives.

As you’ve probably heard, the current thought is that the two Dallas nurses who contracted Ebola while treating a patient probably got exposed while removing their personal protective equipment (PPE). The Hopkins Emergency Ebola Design Challenge is the university’s attempt to address the issue of protective clothing head-on.

Sixty groups will spend the weekend competing to design equipment that will improve on the weaknesses of current designs. On Friday evening they’ll watch demonstrations of how current PPE functions. On Saturday, the groups will design and craft equipment that improves on current designs and present their designs to Hopkins experts. On Sunday, after spending time refining and revising their designs, the groups will present them in final form to a panel of experts.

Only 60 slots are available for the competition, and participants must be students, staff, faculty or otherwise affiliated with Hopkins; organizers are particularly looking for input from “medical residents and fellows with knowledge of infection control and virology; public health students and others with experience in epidemiology; engineers with backgrounds in fluid dynamics, thermodynamics, and heat transfer; materials scientists; people with experience related to personal protective clothing or equipment; and other highly creative and inventive people from all backgrounds.”

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