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Villanova Engineers Respond to a Pandemic

In March 2020—when everything changed—College of Engineering faculty and alumni began sharing their perspectives and their expertise on COVID-19. They have presented computational models in the search for an inhibitor; partnered with Philadelphia area hospitals to develop emergency ventilators; wrote about the potential for blockchain to help medical facilities stem the spread of the disease and shared their expectations for the global economy in light of the crisis.

We are gathering these stories here. In addition, on this alumni relations page, you can read about students, faculty, staff, parents and alumni across the University who are making a positive impact in their community.

If you know of other Villanova Engineers who are contributing to this evolving conversation around the crisis, please contact Director of Communications Kimberly Shimer.

Drs. Moeness Amin and C. Nataraj

Villanova Receives Funding for COVID-19 Response Through Manufacturing Innovation Challenge: Two Villanova University College of Engineering initiatives led by Drs. Moeness Amin and C. Nataraj were among seven projects at four Pennsylvania universities to be awarded $174,603 in new funding through the Manufacturing PA Innovation Program COVID-19 Challenge to address the commonwealth’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Image of ventilator

Villanovans Build a Ventilator: Responding to the desperate need for emergency ventilators, Villanova Engineers and College of Nursing students collaborated with Philadelphia-area hospitals to develop one. This is an up-to-date list of all NovaVent team members and their contributions to the project.  

Dr. "Jacky" Huang

The Search for an Inhibitor: Dr. Zuyi “Jacky” Huang, associate professor of Chemical Engineering, is identifying potential COVID-19 inhibitors using computational approaches.

Michelle Parziale

Single-use Technology and COVID-19: Michelle Parziale ’13 ME, a development engineer with Cytiva, (formerly GE Healthcare Life Sciences), addresses how technology enables the rapid development and production of vaccines and therapies.

Hashi Sudler

Blockchain’s Role in Controlling the Spread: An adjunct faculty member in the Electrical and Compuer Engineering department, Hasshi Sudler ’92 EE proposes blockchain as a common source of data that allows medical facilities to share immutable information.

Gonzalo Zurita

The Worldwide Economic Effects: Alumnus Gonzalo Zurita ’86 CE is an economist. He predicts recovery will be long, and not necessarily steady.

Meghan Rice

A Senior Reflects: According to Civil Engineering senior Meghan Rice, Villanova’s human touch is what makes all the difference during a time of crisis.

Dr. C. Nataraj

Modeling to Define Policy: Dr. C. Nataraj, professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Villanova Center for Analytics of Dynamic Systems, addresses the validity, limitations and advantages of mathematical modeling to define policy during this epidemiological crisis.

Benjamin Bock ’20 ChE

Everyone Should be Vaccinated: Senior Benjamin Bock ’20 ChE shares his thoughts on the importance of vaccines in the age of COVID-19.