The devastating spread of Covid-19 touched every aspect of our lives, bringing many challenges – but also opportunities for positive change. Here’s how engineering could look after the pandemic.
The engineering response to the sudden demands of the coronavirus was inspiring. Whether building ventilators, making personal protective equipment or creating new hospital capacity, companies and institutions from across the spectrum came together in a spirit of collaboration.
Even firms traditionally seen as rivals came together, demonstrating what can be achieved when looking beyond profit margins.
Collaboration forged new connections that will carry over into the post-pandemic world, said IMechE member and Oxford professor Mark Thompson, who led the Oxvent ventilator project. “The crisis has provided the ideal conditions within which an engineering perspective can flourish, because it provides wider adoption of the supportive and collaborative principles which engineers work by,” he said. “I think everyone will carry forward with them the experience of how they responded. In that sense it will irrevocably change the way that the networks are put together.”
Need for speed
Engineers demonstrated their full capacity when restrictions were lifted, creating prototypes in days and complete devices in weeks. Of course, fast-track routes will be tightened after the pandemic, but with other huge and pressing challenges – climate change, for example – governments and regulators have no excuses for constraining work.
“What we’ve achieved in about…continue reading article