How Wentworth Alumni are Responding to the COVID-19 Crisis

June 9, 2020

David Kempskie

During an unprecedented time, members of Wentworth’s alumni community have stepped forward to help in the fight against Covid-19. We’ve rounded up some of the stories to come out of the last several weeks.

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Founder of AET Labs, David Kempskie, MEC ’94, put the Stratasys Continuous Build 3D printer in his office to good use, helping frontline healthcare workers stay safe and be better prepared to do their jobs. With the help of a few colleagues, Kempskie began printing and assembling face shields for local hospitals.

The Stratasys machine that David has in his office contains three 3D printers in one unit, allowing him to print three plastic headbands every 90 minutes. He estimates that AET Labs has already printed more than 250 headbands to date. Headbands are attached to plastic face shields before they are delivered to hospitals on the North Shore.

AET Labs partners at various local colleges, universities and high schools are also printing their own headbands and face shields for similar purposes. Completed face shields have been sent to Addison-Gilbert Hospital, Beverly Hospital, Winchester Hospital, Cape Cod Hospital and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston.

Other Wentworth alumni are also participating in this fight to help frontline healthcare workers and to combat the coronavirus pandemic through the production of PPE’s and in other ways:

Michael Kyes, AET '88, ARC '91, senior associate and architecture discipline leader at the integrated design firm SMMA, is part of a group that has been working in conjunction with the Massachusetts General Brigham Center for COVID Innovation in producing vetted personal protective equipment. SMMA has contributed to the Face Shields Working Group by printing federally approved parts for face shields. The assembled face shields are distributed to hospitals across Eastern Massachusetts, including Mass General Hospital, the UMASS Hospital Network and other smaller medical and senior care facilities in the area. 

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Carli Cabana (left) and Christina Gabriel


CONSTRUCTION

In mid-March, Cambridge-based Siena Construction Corporation completed a fast-track laboratory conversion project for the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, providing an important addition to the scientific research challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic. As part of a rapidly evolving response, Siena employees acted as construction managers on the building of the Broad’s clinical lab space, which is being used for diagnostic testing of the COVID-19 virus.

Siena’s team, including Project Manager Carli Cabana, BSA ’13, MSFM ’16, and Director of Life Sciences Christina Gabriel, BFPM ’07, partnered with the Broad’s facilities, security, and health and safety teams to transform a lab into a high-throughput COVID-19 testing facility. The team worked double shifts throughout the weekend and completed the new testing space ahead of an already tight schedule.

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Douglas Foley
 

UTILITY WORK

Led by Douglas Foley, EEE '86, EEC '88, vice president for electric field operations in Massachusetts, Eversource Energy has supported the electrical needs for medical locations and pop-up testing sites that have sprung up across the Commonwealth, such as the nation's first "Dedicated Care Center" for COVID-19 Patients at Carney Hospital in Dorchester.

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COVID-19 RESEARCH

CDM Smith, under the leadership of Chairman and CEO Tim Wall, CEC ’92, has launched a collaboration with faculty members at Michigan State University and water reclamation utilities across the United States to track the presence of coronavirus in wastewater, with the goal of developing a tool to predict future outbreaks.

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HELPING OTHER PROFESSIONALS SUCCEED

Sharon Jozokos, AET ’92, CMC ‘92, vice president of health care at Columbia, recently wrote an article in Healthcare Design on building and design responses for healthcare facilities in light of the COVID-19 pandemic. In her article, Jozokos argues that retrofitting solutions are needed now to help healthcare organizations deal with this global crisis on a timely basis.

Jason J. Jewhurst, BARC '02, principal at Bruner/Cott, has been working with architecture leaders to contribute to the Boston Society of Architects’ Best Practices Guide COVID-19. This evolving resource for architects and architecture firms offers best practice solutions for communication, office policies, work sharing, construction administration, travel, financial support, and design and planning.

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