WNE College of Engineering graduate student and alumni team up to make face mask straps for medical professionals

Coronavirus Local Impact

Mask straps (Courtesy: WNE)

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WNE) – As the COVID-19 pandemic progresses, Western New England University and the College of Engineering are committed to supporting those who work on the front lines. Current Master of  Science in Mechanical Engineering student and Lab Supervisor Dannielle Croft, of Easthampton, and JP Kirkitelos, of East Longmeadow, a Materials Technician at Baystate Medical Center, are teaming up to create face mask straps for medical professionals.

Kirkitelos saw firsthand how painful it is to have elastic from the masks wrapped around the ears for a 12-hour shift, and his solution was to create straps to hook the mask elastic around the back of the head, which makes wearing masks more comfortable. Kirkitelos, a former classmate of Croft’s, sent her a photo of some of the face mask straps he had created on his own 3D printer for his coworkers. These straps had become popular among Kirkitelos’ coworkers, and Croft agreed to help print more on the University’s 3D printers.

“I feel that since we have the resources and support of the WNE administration, that we should do everything we can to support the front line medical workers, our everyday heroes, who continue to make great personal sacrifices to keep us safe and healthy,” said Croft. “I can ship a face mask strap to anyone who might want one.”

Croft, along with Machinist Pete Bennett, have also started working with the Western Mass 3D Printing Collaborative to print face masks and face shield frames.

For more information about the face mask straps, contact Dannielle Croft at dannielle.croft@wne.edu.

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