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Bowdoin College graduate lending knowledge to research group to design new ventilator

Ben Hill-Lam is an engineer with the AERoFuels Laboratory at The Johns Hopkins University Energetics Research Group.

Editor’s note: You've probably heard the term ‘flattening the curve’ as a way to stem the tide of coronavirus cases. The above video explains what that means.

One Bowdoin College graduate is using his knowledge as a research engineer to design a new ventilator that could be used as a backup if hospitals ran low.

Ben Hill-Lam is an engineer with the AERoFuels Laboratory at The Johns Hopkins University Energetics Research Group. His team decided to switch gears from rocket fuel to ventilators when they saw a need for them.

The team and Hill-Lam have already demonstrated that their prototype ventilator, which was made with a 3D printer, was successful in a trial run with a simulated lung at the hospital. Now, federal agencies and other funding sources are reviewing the team's grant proposal, which could lead to the invention being mass manufactured.

Hill-Lam says their main focus was to make this ventilator easy to produce to ensure the design could help as many people as possible.

"We were looking for parts that are available in the thousands to tens of thousands off the shelf because we realized this is a pandemic and we want to make something that's mass manufacturability," Hill-Lam said.

At NEWS CENTER Maine, we're focusing our news coverage on the facts and not the fear around the illness. To see our full coverage, visit our coronavirus section, here: /coronavirus

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