A group of undergraduates of the Faculty of Technology, University of Ruhuna, has won third place in Versus COVID Competition organised by the IEEE Student Branch of the University of Peradeniya. They have won this place for their project proposal for making a Modified Hazmat Suit with Controllable Inside Temperature. M. H. D. D. Jinasena, M. L. P. W. Dias, and H. W. S. Dhanujika are the members of the winning team.

A hazmat suit is the main personal protective equipment worn by all healthcare professionals including physicians, nurses, and attendants who treat COVID 19 patients. Since no specific treatment is available up to date for preventing COVID 19 infection, healthcare measures play a vital role in minimising its spread. However, the hazmat suit currently worn by healthcare professionals in Sri Lanka is not very comfortable. Wearing it all the daylong may lead to complete exhaustion seriously affecting the efficiency and quality of their job performance.

The Modified Hazmat Suit proposed by Ruhuna undergraduates has been designed to cater to this need. It contains an inbuilt cooling system which helps maintain the temperature inside the hazmat suit while preventing viral germs entering it. This is a comfortable, cost effective, and user-friendly product. Nonetheless, it is a little heavier than a usual hazmat suit and requires power supply for operation. Still, it is seen as a plausible solution for a current issue faced in combatting COVID 19.

The top ten teams of the Versus COVID Competition have been selected for a one-on-one mentorship programme with SLASSCOM to develop their ideas into start-ups. The dean and the staff of the Faculty of Technology extend their heartiest congratulations to the Ruhuna undergraduates for the future endeavours regarding the project.

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