Fanshawe/Toyota team in top nine in international ventilator design competition

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Ventilator design challenge included entries from more than 1,000 teams from 94 countries.

A team of Fanshawe Respiratory Therapy faculty and engineers from Toyota Motor Manufacturing Canada (TMMC) have finished in the top nine of the Code Life Ventilator Challenge, an international competition to design a low-cost, easy-to-use medical ventilator to help patients affected by COVID-19. They finished in the top nine from more than 2,639 participants from 94 countries. The team members were Leon Drasovean, Moe Bdeir, Chris Loates, Daniel Adam, Dave Wall and Yvonne Drasovean.

The competition was sponsored by the Faculty of Engineering at McGill University, The National Research Council of Canada, Dassault Systems, Fasken, AON 3D and The Montreal General Hospital Foundation. The goal of the challenge was to design a ventilator that could be easily deployed anywhere in an emergency. First prize was $200,000 CDN.  

Their design met the technical criteria by incorporating standard medical grade components with common vehicle parts such as sensors and molded bearings normally used under the hoods of Toyota and Lexus vehicles and additional components manufactured using the company’s in-house 3D printers.

“Working with the engineers at Toyota was an incredible experience. Their forward thinking and ability to adapt quickly was remarkable,” said Respiratory Therapy professors Yvonne Drasovean and David Wall. “We are extremely proud to have been a part of a competition that brought people together, giving of their time and knowledge, to help people around the world.”

“Our team at Toyota couldn’t be prouder. This challenge gave us a new sense of purpose during these times and also taught us that as complex as a project might seem at the beginning, once you break down the requirements there are always solutions to the most difficult problems,” said Leon Drasovean, engineering manager at Toyota. “A lot of the credit also goes to our partnership with the Respiratory Therapy program at Fanshawe College. We’ve been working closely and seamlessly together for the past several weeks to design a ventilator prototype that would eventually help those in need during this pandemic.”

In a joint statement the team said, “This challenge exemplified how innovation can drive change and the importance of a team-based approach to health care, especially during a time of complete uncertainty. Working together has been an incredible experience and we are extremely proud to have been a part of this competition.”