COVID-19 Pandemic Has Changed Engineering for Good

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.”

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