Schulich strong during COVID-19

Engineering our future in uncertain times

Message on impact of COVID-19 from Dean Bill Rosehart

The world we live in now is dramatically different than it was just a few weeks ago. Like many of you, we have had to make fundamental changes to our operations to ensure they continue through the evolving COVID-19 situation.

We’ve transitioned swiftly and effectively to online learning for thousands of students. We have adapted our administrative supports to be offered remotely, answering hundreds of calls and emails to help our students keep their studies on track. We’ve re-positioned some of our researchers to COVID-19 projects to help address the current public-health crisis we all face.

While the pace of change is unprecedented, our focus remains on sparking innovation in our increasingly connected world; critical breakthroughs are beginning to emerge.

Innovation in action

Dr. Amir Sanati-Nezhad, an assistant professor of mechanical and manufacturing engineering, is creating a COVID-19 test that can be completed in the comfort of your own home, with results sent wirelessly from a hand-held biosensor to health officials. The device would help reduce in-person contact for people suspected of being infected.

Some of our biomedical engineering researchers are working to design a modern-day iron lung, developing a negative-pressure ventilator from basic equipment and materials. This machine could be of particular use to developing countries where access to ventilators is sparse. We also have some graduate students using our school 3D printers to create medical PPE for front-line health-care workers.

Answering the call to serve

Engineers are problem-solvers. Right now, we need to think globally, act boldly and embrace our entrepreneurial spirit as we develop vital solutions the world desperately needs.

We need your help. Given the urgency and scope of the COVID-19 pandemic, we want to ensure our students, faculty and staff are safe and healthy, and to rally support for our researchers dedicated to the fight against the coronavirus. That’s why this year’s UCalgary Giving Day is focused on helping our  community through these tough times.

The University of Calgary has created two new COVID-19 response funds – a COVID-19 Student Relief Fund and a COVID-19 Research Fund. In addition to these funds, the Schulich School of Engineering will be directing proceeds from our Dean’s Impact Fund towards specific SSE-led, COVID-19 response projects and initiatives. If you have capacity, and want to help support our students and our researchers, please consider participating in UCalgary Giving Day. Until May 22, any gifts will be matched up to $2,500. To give, follow this link and scroll to the Schulich School of Engineering impact fund.

Giving Day is just one of many ways we hope you will continue to engage with us. If you are part of our outstanding engineering alumni, and are giving back to the community, please tell us your story by emailing Share your expertise with us by volunteering on an industry advisory council or partner with us on research.

The world is changing rapidly. As engineers, lets lead that change together.

Bill Rosehart, P.Eng., PhD

Dean of the Schulich School of Engineering

Researchers making a difference

Steve Liang

Personal sensor may provide COVID-19 protection in post-pandemic workplace

Engineering research chair works on device to monitor people without encroaching on privacy.

The identification lanyard you use to swipe open doors at work may be key to keeping you healthy in a post-COVID19 world, says a University of Calgary engineering researcher.

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Schulich engineering research during COVID-19

Emergency ventilator for Coronavirus victims

UCalgary biomedical engineers and scientists are part of an international research collaboration to develop a modern-day iron lung. A negative pressure ventilation device, the machine could help COVID-19 victims breathe if the current global pandemic leaves patients with no other options. 

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UCalgary, The City of Calgary and AHS team up in the fight against COVID-19

Wastewater samples will help identify local outbreaks, fast.

A faster way to detect clusters of COVID-19 infection in the population is critical to avoiding future outbreaks — and what’s going down your drain could help public health officials catch outbreaks sooner.

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COVID-19 self-testing device

COVID-19 self-testing device

A novel diagnostic tool for rapid detection of early-stage COVID-19 is being developed by UCalgary biomedical engineers. The device will reduce in-person contact during the pandemic and allow people to test for the virus by extracting and detecting RNA in the virus.

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Schulich spinoff manufactures hand sanitizer during COVID-19

Schulich spinoff manufactures hand sanitizer during COVID-19

EnviCore, a Schulich research spinoff that developed a sustainable wastewater treatment solution, is switching gears. The team is producing up to 500 litres of hand sanitizer to help with the current demand, and shortage, during COVID-19.

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UCalgary researchers produce 12,000 COVID-19 face shields

UCalgary researchers produce 12,000 COVID-19 face shields

A cross-disciplinary group, led by UCalgary researchers, is producing Alberta Health Services-approved visors for distribution during the COVID-19 pandemic. Brought together through Facebook, the "Sheild Makers YYC" team consulted AHS Infection Prevention and Control to get the mask just right.

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Alberta E-Vent or "Bertie"

Alberta E-Vent, a life-saving ventilator for COVID-19 crisis

A very simple ventilator, for very complex times.

That was the pitch from Dr. Craig Johansen, PhD, to provincial health officials as the spectre of an uncontrolled COVID-19 pandemic threatened to overwhelm hospitals, leaving critical patients without critical respiratory equipment.

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Read more about UCalgary staff, researcher and student responses to COVID-19

Alumni lending a hand

Sidewalk Citizen Bakery

Engineering entrepreneurs help Calgary cope with pandemic

Read more about how engineering alumni Aviv Fried, BSc (Eng)'08, owner of Sidewalk Citizen Bakery, and Alex Leakos and Spencer Kerber, BSc (Eng)'15, co-founders of Bessie Box, are helping out during COVID-19. These small food enterprises are pivoting during challenging times to package family dinners-to-go, setting up no contact delivery, donating food and hiring laid-off service-industry workers to keep up with demand. 

Custom COVID-19 mask made by UCalgary alumni

Custom COVID-19 mask made by engineering alumnus

A UCalgary engineering grad and a communications grad are using their experience in custom footwear to help fight the global pandemic. They came together 10 years after graduation to make reusable, custom face masks to protect front-line workers.

Capstone engineering student project leads to germ-fighting duffel bag

The same pandemic that prevented Schulich School of Engineering students from showing off their final design projects in 2020 may help to shine the spotlight on a germ-killing capstone solution from the past

Students stepping up to help


Camilla Abdrazakov | Responding to COVID-19

Second year mechanical engineering student helps UCalgary COVID-19 support program as a Virtual Support volunteer.

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Deanne Ella Melgar | Responding to COVID-19

After hearing a call for help fourth year civil engineering student takes action after final exams with a face-mask campaign.

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Team member from solar car

Solar Car team | Responding to COVID-19

Solar Car team members use their knowledge with 3D printers to help different initative around Canada supplying them with PPE parts. 

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Helen Habteab

Helen Habteab | Responding to COVID-19

Third year civil engineering student helped support high-risk people stay safe and stay home by volunteering at a local restaurant delivering food to peoples houses. 

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Nameerah Wajahat

Nameerah Wajahat | Responding to COVID-19

Fourth year mechanical engineering student is concerned about international need for help during this crisis. Through her volunteering efforts she is trying to bring hope and healing to the underprivileged by addressing a basic human need: access to health care and clean water.  

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Khaled Elmalawany

Khaled Elmalawany | Responding to COVID-19

Third year electrical engineering student urges other to get involved. Volunteering with Alberta Health Services during the pandemic gives back to the community while providing a stronger impact, which is what drives this student to do more. 

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neuro nexus

Innovative projects to support mental health

Neuro Nexus is empowering its mental health community with a special online multidisciplinary collaborative initiative to address the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Schulich Student

UCalgary COVID-19 diaries: At home with four students feeling the impact of the pandemic

'I never thought I’d miss seeing lineups — like at Tim’s and Bake Chef — or that I’d miss seeing people studying at TFDL or just going about their day'

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covid cast

COVIDcast Episode 29: Escape with STEM

Brennan O'Yeung, a third-year student and founder of Escape with STEM

Escape with STEM creates escape room experiences designed to inspire young Indigenous students to enter STEM fields. Brennan joins us to talk about moving the program online during the pandemic and expanding the scope to make it accessible for all students. 

Engineering Career Centre supporting employers and interns

Employer resources for a remote work environment

Employer resources for a remote work environment

Providing employers with the support they need to have the best engineering internship experience possible. Everything from remote leadership and project management to the virtual hiring process and more.


Student resources for learning and working remotely

Student resources for learning and working remotely

As organizations move to remote work environments during COVID-19, the Engineering Career Centre is dedicated to providing engineering interns with the support they need to have the best experience possible.


Engineering Student Centre supporting new and current students

You at UCalgary

Joining "You at UCalgary" virtually




Schulich Launchpad

Schulich Launchpad cleared for liftoff during pandemic