By Emily Suwala

Class of 2021

Mechanical Engineering major, Mathematics minor

During this crazy time we’ve been experiencing, I’ve become involved in a project with the University of Delaware Mechanical Engineering program to design, manufacture, and distribute HensNest face masks to those who need it most.

These face masks were designed by UD’s Mechanical Engineering department. They are easy to put together and can be 4 to 20 times more effective than a one-use surgical mask or handsewn masks, depending on the material used for the filter. The masks are made of a reusable wire frame, shop towels for the filter, and elastic straps.

My job for this project is the distribution of the masks. I’m in charge of coordinating some volunteers to help assemble the bags that include all the mask parts, and then distributing the masks. We’ve provided many masks to individuals and businesses in the Newark area through our on-campus distribution site at Little Goat Coffee: 16 Haines Street. 10,000 masks have already been distributed to the Newark Police force, grocery store workers, medical workers, and many more medically at-risk individuals. These masks aren’t just in Delaware though! I’ve been packaging them up and mailing them all throughout the United States. People can request 2 masks at a time through our online google form and they will receive their masks in 1-2 weeks from the date they sent in their request. If you would like to request a mask, please follow the link below to a site where you can fill out our google form and I’ll get right on it!

It’s been such a pleasure being able to help my community that’s my home-away-from-home during this pandemic. Stay safe and stay healthy!