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The University of Southampton

Pioneering Southampton respirator presented President’s Special Award

Published: 17 August 2020
PeRSo is a triumph of ingenuity at a time of global adversity and national emergency

A personal respirator developed by an engineering collaboration at the University of Southampton has been honoured by the Royal Academy of Engineering with a President’s Special Award for Pandemic Service.

The Personal Respirator Southampton, known as PeRSo, was rapidly developed in March using off-the-shelf components. Once the prototype obtains the necessary safety certifications, the concept will be published open-source to be available to other manufacturers and organisations around the world.

The respirator consists of a fabric hood which covers the wearer’s head, integrated with a plastic visor to protect their face. A small portable unit delivers clean air through a HEPA filter to the wearer from a battery powered fan pack mounted on a belt.

The President’s Special Awards for Pandemic Service are being made to teams, organisations, individuals, collaborations and projects across all technical specialities, disciplines and career stages within the UK engineering community who have contributed to addressing the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic. Specially commissioned silver medals will be presented to all 19 winners later this year.

Professor Mark Spearing, Vice-President (Research) at the University of Southampton, says: “PeRSo is a triumph of ingenuity at a time of global adversity and national emergency thanks to the collaborative efforts of like-minded colleagues from across the University of Southampton and key partners from industry.”

The multidisciplinary PeRSo team has included engineering expertise from Dr Alex Dickinson, Associate Professor in the Bioengineering Science Research Group; Dr Mark Mavrogordato, Senior Research Fellow and Director (Operations) at the µ-VIS X-Ray Imaging Centre; Dr Clint Styles, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences Business Development Manager; Professor Philippa Reed, Professor of Structural Materials and Head of Mechanical Engineering; Dr Sebastian Rosini, Beamline Scientist and µ-VIS Fellow; Dr Laura Diment, Post-Doctoral Fellow in Prosthetics Research; and Dr David Marshall, Wind Tunnel Manager.

Read the full story on the main news page.

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