Student engineers designing low‑cost ventilator

A diagram explaining how the student’s proposed ventilator would work.
A student electrical engineering team at Washington State University Tri-Cities is designing a prototype of a ventilator that they hope could one-day be used as a low-cost option compared to more expensive commercially available devices. The team, comprised of students Jeremy Dyer, Garrison Wilfert, Aaron Engebretson and Aleksandr Arabadzhi, are designing the ventilator as part of their senior capstone project under the guidance and mentorship of engineering professors Mohamed Osman and Barbara Philipp. The team said even low-cost models on the commercial market are expensive – $10,000 and above. The shortage of ventilators amid COVID-19 has also created further cost challenges. “Part of the reason for the price is the cost and access to the parts, with the other reason being cost of testing before putting it on the market,” Wilfert said. “I hope we develop a good working prototype of a ventilator and we can hand it off to future groups who can carry our research forward and possibly publish this research to offer a new low-cost ventilator.”

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