SCHENECTADY, N.Y. — For the past few months, while much of campus was quiet due to the pandemic, in the SUNY Schenectady Center for Science and Technology, a 3-D printer was running in the Electronics Laboratory, creating face shields for healthcare workers. Now, SUNY Schenectady alumnus Lars Petersen, the man behind the project, is creating face shields for the College’s science faculty members and students so that they can use them in biology, chemistry, and biochemistry labs when they return to campus this fall. (The College recently announced that it will be holding a limited number of science labs on campus with six to eight students in each lab adhering to social distancing, while lecture style courses will continue to be taught virtually.)
So far, Lars has produced about 450 complete shields since early April, with 300 more expected to be printed this summer. He had been printing the face shields exclusively at the College until recently when he moved the operation to his home on Mariaville Lake. “I 100 percent love doing this,” he said. “I have a 5-year-old son and the fact that he can see his father volunteering to make these and see something good in the world – that’s all I need.”
The first 50 face shields Lars created were sent in April to a group of nurses working with elderly COVID-19 patients in New York City when the need for PPE there was the greatest. The next group of 167 shields were delivered locally to Saratoga Hospital through Saratoga 3-D Print Against COVID-19, a grass-roots project started by Adam Smisloff. Lars has partnered with the organization since April and the group has distributed the other face shields to local hospitals and rehabilitation facilities in the area.
Tania Cabrera, dean of the Division of Math, Science, Technology and Health (MSTH), said that having Lars create face shields for faculty/students in her division and for healthcare workers, has been inspiring. She noted that he holds degrees in Nanoscale Materials Technology (2014) and Alternative Energy Technology (2017) from SUNY Schenectady, and is a member of the Math, Science, Technology and Health Advisory Committee, a computer programmer, equipment repairman, and former Systems Technician at General Electric.
“Lars has been an active part of the SUNY Schenectady community since he was enrolled in my first ever Materials Science course in the Spring 2009 semester,” she said. “We are thrilled that the SUNY Schenectady MSTH Division and Lars could get involved in providing face shields for our faculty and students, and PPE for those healthcare workers on the front lines of the COVID crisis.”
Dr. Moono, president of the College, commended the Division and Lars on the work they have done since April. “We are doing all that we can to help our students and others through this uncertain time,” Dr. Moono said. “We are so proud of our alumnus Lars and the Division of Math, Science, Technology and Health, who have quietly been creating these face shields for healthcare workers and now for our science professors and students.”
About SUNY Schenectady
Founded in 1969, SUNY Schenectady County Community College (SUNY Schenectady) is one of 30 community colleges in the State University of New York system, the largest comprehensive university system in the United States. SUNY Schenectady is accredited by the Middle States Commission on Higher Education which is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Through transferable degree and certificate programs, affordable tuition, strong student support services and a personalized approach to learning, SUNY Schenectady provides students with a regionally-acclaimed education that empowers them to take the next step in their lives. SUNY Schenectady offers degree and certificate programs through the:
- School of Hotel, Culinary Arts, and Tourism
• School of Music
• Division of Business, Criminal Justice, and Law
• Division of Liberal Arts
• Division of Math, Science, Technology, and Health
SUNY Schenectady also offers an array of Workforce Development and Community Education services and non-credit courses. Learn more by visiting: www.sunysccc.edu.