Keele Professor receives prestigious award for medical devices design expertise

A Keele University Professor has won a prestigious award from the Institution of Engineering Designers for his work to provide engineering solutions relating to healthcare during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Professor Peter Ogrodnik, a Senior Lecturer in Medical Devices Design in Keele’s School of Pharmacy and Bioengineering, has been awarded the 2021 Inspire, Support, Achieve Award for his lead role in establishing the charity ENG4 in collaboration with the Institution of Engineering Designers.

ENG4 is a not-for-profit collaboration of professionals and volunteers, whose aim is to provide support for other not-for-profit healthcare organisations to enhance health and wellbeing in times of need. It was established during the first Covid-19 lockdown in April 2020, after Professor Ogrodnik launched an appeal for engineers to come together to help the NHS by building ventilators to address the shortage.

At the height of the pandemic, more than 300 volunteer engineers signed up to take part in the initiative, with a number of project leaders being assigned to lead the group’s work in tackling healthcare challenges posed by the pandemic.

Professor Ogrodnik, said: “This is a great honour for me but also for those who worked with me to establish ENG4 and those who volunteered. We hope that this award will help to get ENG4 the recognition so that it can move from a small entity to something that engineers of all disciplines and levels can collaborate with and call it their equivalent of Médecins Sans Frontières.”

The winner of the award receives the Gerald Frewer Memorial Trophy, which has been presented annually for more than 30 years to those who have made "outstanding contributions in the field of engineering and/or product design, design management, education and training or design philosophy".

The award is given in memory of Gerald Frewer, a designer at the Kennedy Space Centre. Previous winners including British inventor Sir James Dyson, Rolls-Royce Chief Civil Aerospace Design Engineer Professor Geoff Kirk, and Moulton Bicycle designer Dr Alex Moulton.