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Hornets On The Rise
Society of Mechanical Engineers

What does it mean to be a community hero? For some it means responding to 911 calls without the proper equipment, for some it means using the same personal protective equipment day-after-day, and for some Sac State students, it means revving up their 3D printers and getting to work!

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SME In The House

Within the College of Engineering and Computer Science (ECS), there are 45 different student organizations. Emerging leaders drove one such team to form swiftly in response to the need for personal protective equipment (PPE) in March 2020.

Nine Sacramento State Mechanical Engineering (ME) students, who are active in various mechanical engineering student organizations, gave up their spring break to manufacture and deliver 3D-printed protective masks to the staff at Mercy hospitals providing critical protection to health care workers in the Sacramento area.

I am incredibly proud of our students who are so eager to provide behind-the-scenes help in protecting against the COVID-19 virus, said professor and chair of the ME department Akihiko Kumagai.

Phil Olding, a senior ME major who has been printing in 3D for the past five years, approached Professor Kumagai and Dean of College of Engineering & Computer Science Lorenzo Smith for permission to pursue the project as reports of medical-grade mask shortages surfaced. Then he enlisted fellow ME students, some of whom have their own printers, and others checked out printers from the 3D lab on campus to use at home.

Jill Walsh, vice president of Mercy Medical Group’s board of directors, said partnerships like these are so important because there is a critical shortage of personal protective equipment for our healthcare workers who are trying to save lives. This has been a wonderful collaboration with Sacramento State, she said.

The ability of our students to contribute to the community is central to our definition of student success, Smith said. Their selfless partnership with our friends in the medical community is living proof that our college is leading the way in advancing student success.

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