The day-to-day lives of students, staff and faculty in the College of Engineering were turned upside-down as our building and campus closed as part of USask's response to COVID-19. All research in the college was temporarily suspended and in less than a week, students and faculty moved to online teaching and learning.
There have been innumerable challenges – logistically, mentally and emotionally – but there have been just as many examples of resourcefulness and perseverance from everyone within our college. We cannot capture every achievement – and many have been purely personal victories – but here are some highlights of USask Engineering’s COVID-19 response over the past year.
Teaching and learning in a pandemic
April 30, 2020: From business as usual to an empty building.
- It took only a handful of days for USask Engineering to to move to remote operation. In a matter of days, and at one of the busiest times of the year – mid March – the college transformed from business as usual to remote operation.
August 18, 2020: Engineering labs go virtual
- USask Engineering developed innovative ways to give their students virtual alternatives to a traditional hands-on lab experience.
USask Engineering partners on made-in-Saskatchewan ventilator
- University of Saskatchewan Engineering was one part of the collaboration between USask and Saskatoon-based RMD Engineering.
December 10, 2020: University innovation needed in times of crisis: Kresta op-ed
- The pandemic has driven home the point that local problems often require local solutions, USask Engineering Dean Suzanne Kresta writes in The Saskatoon StarPhoenix.
COVID-19 wastewater surveillance
October 30, 2020: COVID-19 levels in Saskatoon's wastewater plant point to upcoming increase in cases
- University of Saskatchewan (USask) researchers including USask Engineering's Kerry McPhedran, along with partners at the City of Saskatoon (CoS) and the Saskatchewan Health Authority (SHA) have developed a COVID-19 early warning system by sampling and testing the city’s wastewater for the SARS-CoV-2 virus.
February 22, 2021: More funding for COVID-19 wastewater testing
- A University of Saskatchewan (USask) research team has been awarded $137,392 from the Public Health Agency of Canada (PHAC) to conduct a six-month COVID-19 wastewater surveillance project in Saskatoon and at five Saskatchewan First Nations communities to provide early warning of outbreaks.
Engineering researchers join fight against COVID-19
September 9, 2020: USask Engineering researchers receives COVID-19 funding on several fronts
- Faculty and students sharing in funds from the National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) include Carey Simonson, Jafar Soltan, Sven Achenbach, Chris Zhang, and Randy Lin.
January 1, 2021: USask engineers developing air filter to deactivate COVID-19 virus
- Chemical and biological engineering professor Jafar Soltan is working with PhD candidate Nazanin Charchi to develop technology that neutralizes the COVID-19 virus.
Contributing to safety
April 3, 2020: USask unites: Engineering donates N95 masks
- The University of Saskatchewan (USask) College of Engineering contributed N95 masks, gloves and more when USask called for donations of personal protective equipment (PPE) for health-care workers.
- Using 3D printers, a University of Saskatchewan (USask) engineering team is designing a comfortable, reusable and sanitizable N95 class respirator mask aimed at protecting emergency room doctors and nurses from COVID-19 in the midst of a global shortage of medical-grade masks.
December 11, 2020: Don't overlook ventilation as a COVID safety measure: USask HVAC expert
- Carey Simonson, internationally recognized for his expertise in heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) technology, is pleased to see that people are talking about the importance of better ventilation.