Rowan College of South Jersey (RCSJ) Engineering Science Instructor Gayle Hughes has never met a problem she did not try to solve. As spring break drew to a close, there was one dilemma in particular that weighed on the educator’s heart—the lack of protective masks for emergency personnel.
In addition to her work at RCSJ, Hughes is also an adjunct instructor for Rowan University’s Engineering clinics. She was among the first to know when the university’s Henry M. Rowan College of Engineering began working in collaboration with medical professionals to develop a prototype for a durable, lightweight, reusable face mask that could be created using a 3D printer. When the university finalized plans and instructions to print the masks and released them to the public, Hughes got straight to work engineering a plan.
RCSJ had nine 3D printers sitting unused since the campus had closed and courses had shifted to online delivery as part of a universal effort to slow the spread of COVID-19. Hughes asked how she might get access to the equipment and supplies she would need; the College administration was more than happy to oblige.
Within a week she had delivered 65 masks to the Gloucester County Office of Emergency Management. To see how Hughes and other RCSJ faculty, staff and graduates are making a difference in the battle against COVID-19, visit RCSJ.edu/Hero. Instructions to 3D print your own masks using Rowan University’s design are available at Engineering.Rowan.edu.
If you want to put your problem-solving skills to work with a career in engineering, visit RCSJ.edu/STEM to take the first step.