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University of York technicians join effort to make Coronavirus face shields for frontline workers

Posted on 3 April 2020

Technicians from the University of York are producing personal protective equipment (PPE) for frontline workers as part of the national response to Covid-19.

Matthew Von Tersch working in the labMatthew Von Tersch working in the lab

Staff from the Departments of Biology and Archaeology have already produced 600 face shields using laser cut recyclable plastic, with possible plans for more in the coming weeks.


The visors are currently being distributed for free through a York collective.  The collective is calling for more makers to get involved in the project and is raising funds to support the effort.

Technicians BioArCh Laboratory Manager, Matthew Von Tersch and Biology Research Workshop Manager, Mark Bentley are supporting the cooperative.

Mark Bentley wearing the visor

Mark Bentley said: “The collective’s intention is to offer a free safety visor to anyone working on the front line in the York area. This could include shop assistants, teachers, cleaners, care workers, transport staff, delivery drivers or anyone who is required to work with the public during the pandemic.

“We are just doing our bit to support the local community as best we can.”

Innovative engineer

Head of the Department of Biology, Professor James Moir said: “We’ve been doing what we can to be part of the national response to the Covid-19 crisis. Mark from our Biology research workshop is such a creative and innovative engineer. It is great to see these PPE visors they are producing go to frontline workers.”

The 2D laser cut safety visor utilises a design which is being used effectively across Europe and the globe in the fight against Coronavirus. The 2D laser cut is made freely available and may be redistributed and modified.

For more information on the project contact

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Julie Gatenby
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Our response to the coronavirus pandemic

We're working with partners in York and further afield as part of a global effort to fight the COVID-19 virus. From covid analysis in the labs to producing face shields for the frontline, we're using our knowledge and expertise to support the effort.