Resilient and agile engineering solutions to address societal challenges such as coronavirus pandemic

Goel, Saurav and Hawi, Sara and Geol, Gaurav and Thakur, Vijay Kumar and Agrawal, Anupam and Hoskins, Clare and Pearce, Oliver and Hussain, Tanvir and Upadhyaya, Hari M. and Cross, Graham and Barber, Asa H. (2020) Resilient and agile engineering solutions to address societal challenges such as coronavirus pandemic. Materials Today Chemistry, 17. 100300. ISSN 2468-5194 (

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The world is witnessing tumultuous times as major economic powers including the US, UK, Russia, India, and most of Europe continue to be in a state of lockdown. The worst-hit sectors due to this lockdown are sales, production (manufacturing), transport (aerospace and automotive) and tourism. Lockdowns became necessary as a preventive measure to avoid the spread of the contagious and infectious “Coronavirus Disease 2019” (COVID-19). This newly identified disease is caused by a new strain of the virus being referred to as Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome CoronaVirus 2 (SARS CoV-2; formerly called 2019-nCoV). We review the current medical and manufacturing response to COVID-19, including advances in instrumentation, sensing, use of lasers, fumigation chambers and development of novel tools such as lab-on-the-chip using combinatorial additive and subtractive manufacturing techniques and use of molecular modelling and molecular docking in drug and vaccine discovery. We also offer perspectives on future considerations on climate change, outsourced versus indigenous manufacturing, automation, and antimicrobial resistance. Overall, this paper attempts to identify key areas where manufacturing can be employed to address societal challenges such as COVID-19.