The Sheffield College staff supporting the NHS

27th April 2020

An award winning Sheffield College lecturer is applying his engineering skills to manufacturing vital protective equipment for the NHS.

An award winning Sheffield College lecturer is applying his engineering skills to manufacturing vital protective equipment for the NHS.

Nick Hart is using the College’s 3D printers to create face shield frames for frontline staff at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust. So far, he has created 25 frames, which he is due to deliver this week.

Nick, who is a Learning and Development Coach for Engineering and Construction, said: “One of my close family works for the NHS. I wanted to do my bit to help the amazing frontline workers in our city. I love engineering. It’s my happy place – solving problems.”

Angela Foulkes, Chief Executive and Principal, The Sheffield College, said: “It’s great to see our staff supporting the NHS at this critical time from making personal protective equipment as well as teddy bears for children in hospital to delivering urgent medical supplies by motorbike and running or walking 5K to fundraise.”

The College’s City Campus Nursery is also playing its part by staying open to look after the children of key workers.

Kirsten Major, Chief Executive, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: “We are very grateful to everyone across the city who has offered us their support in all sorts of ways. Thank you to all the fantastic people at The Sheffield College who have given up their time and expertise to help us. It really does make a difference.”

Nick is one of the many volunteers across the country who are helping to address the national shortage of personal protective equipment. His original print model came from who have set up a crowd funded system for getting equipment made by printer owners across the country.

Normally, students use the 3D printers to assist their learning and understanding of three-dimensional objects. Within engineering, this ranges from designing and making simple shapes to complex structures with moving parts, all built as one piece.

Nick explained: “There are so many applications for three-dimensional printing from providing engineering solutions to making interest moulds for catering and making prosthetic arms for people with physical differences.”

He added: “If you imagine using a glue gun and creating a pattern on a table. You then repeat the exact same pattern on top of the first and repeat this process until the pattern builds up into an object. That is 3D printing. Each of the layers I am printing are 0.2mm thick so it takes a little while to make each face shield frame.”

Earlier this academic year, Nick won a prestigious national teaching award – a Fellowship from the Education and Training Foundation (ETF) in partnership with the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851.

Fellowships are given to outstanding practitioners who are recognised for their high impact teaching practice and the delivery of effective outcomes for learners

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