Good in a crisis: teacher wins national award for work to help NHS during early days of pandemic

Good in a crisis: teacher wins national award for work to help NHS during early days of pandemic

QE’s Head of Technology, Michael Noonan, has won a special award for his work in co-ordinating the production of PPE for the NHS as coronavirus first swept the country.

Mr Noonan spearheaded a London-wide effort by schools’ Design & Technology departments to 3D-print face shields and stave off a looming crisis as hospitals’ supplies of PPE ran low when Covid-19 cases soared in spring 2020.

Among those participating were QE pupils who used their home 3D printers during the first lockdown, while Mr Noonan also kept the School’s own machines running around the clock.

Now his efforts have been recognised through a new award from the Design and Technology Association (DTA – a national organisation supporting the teaching of design, engineering and technology).  It was presented during the DTA’s 21st Excellence Awards ceremony held at the Institution of Engineering and Technology at Savoy Place in central London.

“I’m honoured to have been chosen as one of the winners in the Onshape Special Award Recognising Design and Technology’s Social Impact. Thank you to all at The Design and Technology Association for this award and for a wonderful evening,” Mr Noonan said.

He was one of only ten winners to be picked from schools across the country.

Congratulating him, Headmaster Neil Enright said: “It is brilliant news that Mr Noonan has received well-deserved recognition for the truly inspiring work he did in response to the national shortage of PPE. We are all very proud of him.”

The DTA’s Chief Executive Officer, Tony Ryan, also congratulated him on his “positive impact at a time of crisis”, adding: “Through your efforts and those of other D&T departments across the country, we showed the real value of our subject.”

Mr Noonan, who has been at the School for eight years and became Head of Technology in 2017, recalled the role he played from March to June last year: “I had the privilege of coordinating the London area, overseeing a team of six fantastic sub area coordinators, while also managing all orders for PPE in NHS hospitals, doctors surgeries and care homes in North London.

“I oversaw the delivery of around 20,000 units of PPE to the frontline during my tenure, as well as supporting makers and managing logistics and contact with clients. I also established a logistics partnership with Bikeshed and Need2Talk, who took over deliveries from makers and eased pressure on our systems.”