The OpenPAPR project was launched in March 2020 to design, build, and distribute personal protective equipment (PPE) to healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 battle. It started with a conversation between Berkeley engineering professors Prabal Dutta and Robert Pilawa-Podgurski, and UCSF doctors David Robinowitz and Jeffrey Sall, on ways the engineers could help the doctors. The conversation was catalyzed into action by Laken Moser, a Diablo Valley College student, whose email proposing a do-it-yourself (DIY) PAPR caught the attention of the Berkeley engineers as well as Chris Palmer, the Digital Fabrication Lab Manager in Berkeley’s College of Environmental Design. This provided the spark that has yielded an intense collaboration.

The team quickly expanded to include graduate students at Berkeley, health care workers at UCSF, and partners and spouses at home, all bringing their own energy and expertise to this effort. In just the first four weeks, while sheltering-in-place, the team built a series of prototypes, raised seed funding from the UCSF Chancellor’s Office, and started clinical usability testing to prepare for pending emergency use certification. In the next four weeks, the team hopes to have a certified device, manufactured in small volumes, and available for use in Bay Area hospitals.

  • Derek Chou (UC Berkeley)
  • Brooke Dagnan
  • Prof. Prabal Dutta (UC Berkeley)
  • Stephanie Lie
  • Lakin Moser
  • Nathan Pallo (UC Berkeley)
  • Chris Palmer (UC Berkeley)
  • Brooke Pilawa-Podgurski
  • Prof. Robert Pilawa-Podgurski (UC Berkeley)
  • Dr. David Robinowitz (UCSF)
  • Dr. Jeffrey Sall (UCSF)
  • Dr. Stephen Weston (UCSF)

We’re looking for passionate volunteers to join this effort. Let us know if you’re interested!