UTC student aims to produce 500 face shields a week for the NHS - UTC Leeds

30th April 2020

Harvey Ryder, a current Year 13 student at UTC Leeds, has been using his 3D printer to help produce over 700 face shields for NHS staff and other key workers.

Unable to volunteer for the NHS due to his age, Harvey wanted to help in any way he could to support those on the front line during the Covid-19 pandemic. Inspired by others making Personal Protective Equipment (PPE), Harvey decided to use the technical skills he has gained at the UTC to help with the increased demand for PPE, as he explained, “Most of my units in engineering involve some 3D printing so I’ve had quite of lot of experience with using them.”

Aware of his desire to help, Harvey’s mum bought him a 3D printer as an early birthday present and he has since been very busy producing face shields and studying for his A Levels in Maths, Physics and Double Engineering.

In order to maximise production, Harvey has been in touch with people in the local area and has since been working with three others who also have 3D printers at home. Together, they have created an impressive 700 face shields.

Harvey said, “By the end of this week we’re hoping to have produced 1000 face shields.”

The face shields have been delivered to the Bradford Royal Infirmary, Huddersfield Hospital, care homes, GP practices and pharmacies.

To support Harvey’s incredible efforts, UTC Leeds is opening up for a few hours each day, starting from 4th May, so that he can use the facilities at the UTC and increase production – whilst still observing social distancing.

Harvey said: “With the number of 3D printers available in the UTC, I estimate that in just one week of printing we could produce around 500 shields.

“Since getting in touch with the UTC, to let them know what I’ve been doing, they’ve been really supportive. I’ve also been in touch with a few other students who might be able to help out in order keep the printers running as often as possible – so we can make as many face shields as possible!”

UTC Leeds Principal, Hannah Wilson, said: “Harvey is an exceptional student who will make a valuable and lifelong contribution to society and the engineering industry. We are extremely proud of his efforts to support key workers during this difficult time and we’re delighted that we can support him.”

Harvey joined the UTC in Year 12 thinking it would be a great fit for him as he has always had an interest in space and engineering. Commenting on his time at the UTC, Harvey said: “It has been without doubt the best two years of my life.

“I’ve really enjoyed all my subjects and being in a community of people who also love engineering, we share the same passion.”

Harvey is predicted to achieve an A in Maths, an A* in Physics and Distinction* Distinction* in his Double Engineering technical qualification. He said: “I’ve received an offer from the University of Southampton to do Aeronautics and Astronautics. After that I want to do a master’s degree and at the moment my goal is to become a fast jet pilot for the RAF and then potentially a test pilot.”

To support Harvey’s production of face shields and help to protect our key workers, please donate here. All donations will go towards covering the costs of PLA filament (the material used in 3D printing).

Update, 12th May:

It has been fantastic to see the many donations and words of encouragement posted to the Just Giving page – a massive thank you to everyone who has supported Harvey.

We are delighted to have also received funding from The Worshipful Company of Engineers. Colonel David Swann CBE contacted us on behalf of the Chair of Trustees of The Engineers Trust, Professor David Johnson FREng, to let us know that they have awarded a substantial sum to assist with the cost of the raw materials to make the face shields. David said, “The Trust was convinced of the project’s merit and saw sufficient connection to engineering education and the recognition of excellence in engineering to agree the grant.

“This is the first the trustees have made outside the Trust’s core activities for three years. Many congratulations!”

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