Engineering to the rescue! How engineers are helping in the fight against coronavirus

10 mins

Engineers, assemble! No, we’ve not overdosed on Marvel movies during lockdown. We&rsqu...

Engineers, assemble! No, we’ve not overdosed on Marvel movies during lockdown. We’re talking about the consortium of engineering companies that have banded together to build much-needed medical ventilators. Let’s take a look at the project and explore what it says about UK engineering.


Introducing VentilatorChallengeUK

VentilatorChallengeUK is a consortium of leading manufacturers and engineering companies – including Airbus, Rolls-Royce, Accenture, BAE Systems, McLaren, Ford and Siemens – that are collaborating to increase production of two types of ventilators made by specialist manufacturers, Smiths Medical and Penlon. The consortium was born after Boris Johnson called for the UK’s leading firms to turn their hands to ventilator production.

At the time of writing, the consortium already has a formal order from the government for 10,000 ventilators, and could potentially produce up to 15,000 in total for the UK’s hospitals. This means the consortium will be responsible for delivering the same number of ventilators as Dyson – another firm the government has turned to for help.

While it will take weeks to ramp up to maximum production levels, the consortium’s engineering work will provide a vital boost to ventilator production. To put this effort in context, Smiths and Penlon have a combined output of between 50 and 60 ventilators per week; but with the consortium’s help, combined production of both types of ventilators is expected to hit 1,500 units a week. Currently, the NHS has access to around 8,000 ventilators, and is expected to need at least 30,000.


Great minds thinking alike

With the peak of COVID-19 infections expected very soon, it’s a race against time to deliver the ventilators our hospitals will need to help the worst-affected coronavirus patients. News that the best engineering minds are stepping up to help increase domestic ventilator production speaks volumes about the calibre of UK engineering professionals. At a time of national crisis, VentilatorChallengeUK is shining a light on the essential skills engineering professionals bring to the table.

As recruiters specialising in engineering work, Roc Search is here to support the UK’s engineering and manufacturing firms through this time of transition and uncertainty. Talk to our recruiters to find the right engineering contractors for your company’s needs – or if you’re an engineer looking for your next challenge, check out our latest engineering jobs.