Western student key to Ontario company’s COVID-19 pivot
LONDON, ONT. -- Ramtin Rasoulinezhad was placed through Mitacs Accelerate with AVL Manufacturing in Hamilton to work on the Net Zero Energy Building Project, when he was selected to work directly with the Hybrid Solution Division.
“You put people like Ramtin out into small-medium enterprise, especially who are really dedicated to innovating but they need the talent to do it, and bingo, good things happen,” Mitacs CEO John Hepburn said.
The Canadian government had just put out a call for companies to innovate in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.
AVL CEO Vince DiCristofaro wanted to work on a project that, unfortunately wouldn’t be ready in time for this crisis, but could be a game changer for the medical field going forward.
“Whether it’s an ICU, or vaccination centre, or a triage - Six Nations or to Northern Communities where the hospitals are quite a distance to hike to - so for us, bring the unit to them.”
The idea of the Mobile Medical Module was born, and the Western graduate student was able to use his power-grid expertise to help redeploy from manufacturing green energy units to mobile health units, with the aim to provide a safe and controlled environment for hospital triage.
“There are four criteria that every engineer should take into consideration,” says Rasoulinezhad. “Affordability, practicality, reliability and safety, and this project has all of them.”
This medical module is designed to have everything needed to deploy and use within minutes.
It has built-in H-VAC and HEPA filtration systems, as well as negative pressure to filter viruses. It can also be customized to deal with differing climates around the globe.
“Which is very important,” according to Rasoulinezhad, “because it should be customized based on the area that you want to use it. This one will be the standard package, but it can be changed based on many different situations.”
The 40-foot shipping container turned medical facility is in production and could be ready for deployment in the coming weeks.
There is interest abroad in countries like India and the United States, but AVL will be reaching out to regional health-care authorities and government agencies in Canada to gauge interest at home as well.