University of Windsor researchers design masks, door handle openers to fight COVID-19 spread

University of Windsor engineering student Hamed Kalami displays an adjustable face shield on Friday, April 3, 2020.
A group of researchers at the faculty of engineering have designed face masks and hands-free attachments for door handles,
and are making parts for face shields and ventilators to help combat the spread of the COVID-19 virus. DAN JANISSE


Some University of Windsor researchers have designed face masks, hands-free door handle attachments and other tools to help fight the spread of COVID-19.

The group from the Faculty of Engineering is also making parts for face shields and ventilators.

“This is our rapid response to the current situation,” said master’s student Alireza Pasha.

Along with doctoral candidates Hamed Kalami and Morteza Alebooyeh, Pasha has been working with engineering professor Jill Urbanic since the pandemic hit.

They started out by partnering up with Kevin Taylor from Kelcom 3D to make brackets for face shields on a 3D printer.

The researchers said their bracket, which wraps around the wearer’s head, is an improvement on other designs because it fits more snugly to the forehead to prevent exposure to pathogens. The top part of the face shield is also covered and the headband is flexible.

The team has made some prototypes but hope to design a mold to produce the brackets in higher volume.

The researchers are also designing hands-free door openers. They have created a “J-hook attachment” that would allow people to use their forearms to pull a door open.

The graduate students are also using the 3D printer to make prototypes of facemasks and parts for ventilators.

Urbanic said her team has procured some specialty epoxy to make a mold for a low-volume production run of the products.