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Chemnitz University of Technology Contributes Significantly to Overcoming the Corona Crisis

Although Chemnitz University of Technology is currently in stand-by mode, there are numerous activities to contribute to overcoming the corona crisis, for which the university management or the respective faculty management have granted some exceptional permissions.

Department of Mechanical Engineering and City Laboratory "Mitmach_X" support medical institutions in the region by providing special protective equipment

More than 200 face shields were manufactured at the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Chemnitz University of Technology and handed over to hospitals in the region. The production of the face shields was coordinated by the Professorship of Factory Planning and Factory Management at Chemnitz University of Technology and supported by the Professorship of Ergonomics and Innovation Management, the Professorship of Machine Tools, the Professorship of Materials and Surface Engineering as well as the Chemnitz companies Hörmann Rawema Engineering & Consulting GmbH and WIR electronic GmbH. In addition, the city laboratory "Mitmach_X" at Chemnitz University of Technology has also entered into the production of 3D-printed face shields. So far, more than 200 face shields have been produced and were partly already delivered to dentists, kindergartens and a volunteer fire brigade, among others. The 3D printing help campaign will be further expanded.

Center for Microtechnologies (ZfM) creates technical prerequisites for the development of new vaccines as well as rapid analysis and testing procedures

In the field of medical technology, ZfM is working on a special microfluidic technology in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institute for Electronic Nano Systems ENAS and the company EDC Electronic Design Chemnitz GmbH, among others, to build a small microlab directly on the microelectronic circuit. Such tiny digital biotechnological laboratories are used for the research and development of new vaccines and procedures for the accelerated analysis of biopolymers. This is an important contribution to the creation of the necessary technical conditions and is particularly important in the SARS-CoV-2 crisis. The transfer of this development work to EDC Electronic Design Chemnitz GmbH is supported by the Free State of Saxony. Furthermore, ZfM is involved in the production of nanostructured metal layers together with Fraunhofer ENAS, which can be used for the detection of viruses by means of electromagnetic waves. This could reduce the measurability threshold for the detection of diseases and thus significantly increase the availability of tests in the clinical field.

Production of disinfectants at the Institute of Chemistry

The Institute of Chemistry produces disinfectants - partly for the medical needs of the region, partly for the university’s own use, for which the university management has obtained permission from the Saxon State Ministry for Social Affairs and Social Cohesion. Renate Benndorf from the chemicals warehouse as well as Dr. Susan Ebert and Dr. Steffen Hemeltjen from the Chair of Physical Chemistry (Head: Prof. Dr. Werner A. Goedel) were particularly involved in the production of the disinfectant. The mixing of the chemicals was also supported by Thomas Weißbach from the Institute for Print and Media Technology. Prof. Dr. Klaus Stöwe, Deputy Director of the Institute of Chemistry, was responsible for the coordination. At Chemnitz University of Technology, disinfectant dispensers have now been gradually placed in the various buildings (primarily at the building entrances) and thus made available to the core team which continues to be active at Chemnitz University of Technology.

Psychological counselling hotline for the Corona crisis launched

With the support of the University Management and in cooperation with Prof. Dr. Stephan Mühlig and the Psychotherapeutic University Outpatient Clinic (PHA-TUC GmbH), a psychological counselling hotline on the corona crisis was set up at Chemnitz University of Technology. The all-day telephone hotline is staffed by highly qualified psychotherapists for people in need of help or advice on the current situation. Via the hotline, affected persons can be advised on the phone and persons in need of treatment can be admitted as patients by the PHA-TUC and receive psychotherapeutic care.

Professorship for Applied Gerontopsychology and Cognition sets up telephone service for elderly people living alone

To actively approach elderly people living alone with few social contacts by means of a voluntary telephone service is the aim of the joint project "Morgenohr" (Morning Ear) by the Chair of Applied Gerontopsychology and Cognition at Chemnitz University of Technology (Head: Prof. Dr. Georg Jahn) and Volkssolidarität Chemnitz. For this purpose, volunteer telephone mentors are being sought, who are to maintain friendly contact with elderly people living alone through regular telephone calls and pass on information on support services.

Recommendations against “cabin fever”

Prof. Dr. Stephan Mühlig, holder of the Chair of Clinical Psychology at Chemnitz University of Technology and head of the Smokers' Outpatient Clinic Chemnitz as well as the Psychotherapeutic University Outpatient Clinic (PHA-TUC GmbH), gives ten advice on how to deal with quarantine and the current restrictions caused by the coronavirus.

Support with the supply of protective masks

Prof. Dr. Josef Lutz from the Chair of Power Electronics and Prof. Dr. Egon Müller, who headed the Professorship of Factory Planning and Factory Management at Chemnitz University of Technology from 2002 to 2018, received several hundred protective masks from industrial partners in China, which are now being made available to medical facilities in Chemnitz. The University Archive of Chemnitz University of Technology also supported a family doctor's practice in Chemnitz with protective masks that were available to the archive and are currently not needed.

University Management would like to thank all those involved

"I am thrilled to see how members of our university are dealing with the corona crisis and the challenges it poses. It is extremely important that during this time we not only strive to protect the members of our university and their families as best we can, and at the same time maintain our university life responsibly, but that we also actively and in many different ways contribute  help, some of it far beyond the borders of our university to overcome the corona crisis,” says Prof. Dr. Gerd Strohmeier, President of Chemnitz University of Technology, who is very grateful to all those who have contributed and are contributing to the project.

(Author: Mario Steinebach / Translation: Chelsea Burris)

Matthias Fejes
21.04.2020

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