From trash to treasure: Liebenberg teaches design for repurposing in ME 270
Can a Coca-Cola bottle be repurposed to make a medical device? What about a plastic bag? How effective are the masks we must now wear when in public? How can masks be reused safely? What are some low-cost solutions for the shortage of ventilators?
Leon Liebenberg, a Teaching Associate Professor in MechSE was hopeful that students in his ME 270 course might answer some of these questions, even possibly resolve some of the COVID-19-related issues our society is now facing.
Liebenberg says, “With everything being turned upside down” (due to the pandemic), he sought a way to help his students more fully engage in online learning. So over spring break, he revamped the final project for his Design for Manufacturability course, making it timely, extremely relevant to the real world, and sure to pique the interest of his students, whom he says are passionate about making a difference.
As part of ME270’s “Design-for-Repurposing” final project, students were asked to design a prototype for emergency medical equipment, such as a ventilator or face mask, using repurposed materials and products.