Sumanti Sen is an English Literature graduate who believes "there's just one kind of folks. Folks.".
Among the 19 winners of the UK's Royal Academy of Engineering President's Special Awards for Pandemic Service for exceptional engineering achievements in tackling COVID-19 throughout the UK is an Indian-origin physician -- Ravi Solanki.
Ravi Solanki, a physician working on neurodegenerative diseases, and Raymond Siems a machine learning engineer were awarded for their volunteer work to help build a fully functioning, secure website for a new National Health Service (NHS) charity HEROES.
The duo ensured that the platform could enable funding, provide counselling and wellbeing services, childcare support and sustainable personal protective equipment (PPE) to NHS workers, NDTV reported.
"Ravi and Raymond's round-the-clock contributions allowed the new charity to tap into public sentiment and collect donations quickly so that NHS workers could receive the support they needed when the COVID-19 crisis was at its peak in the UK," noted the Academy in its citation.
"Their technical know-how allowed HEROES to support 90,000 NHS workers in three months. The team's work to expand the digital platform and support provided to healthcare workers is ongoing," it added.
The team, including Evan Martin and Wilson Griffiths, took just two days to turn an idea into a "genuine impact" secure website.
Through the website, more than 543,000 items of support -- sustainable PPE to counselling services and child care -- have been provided to NHS workers.
The honours were announced on Monday, August 17. Recipients of the awards were teams, organisations, individuals, collaborations and projects across all technical specialities, disciplines and career stages within the UK engineering community who have had an exceptional contribution to addressing the challenges of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Further, all 19 winners will be awarded specially commissioned silver medals later this year.
"The COVID-19 pandemic is the biggest public health crisis of our time and has presented society with multiple challenges. Engineering expertise and innovation have been central to the global fight to save lives and protect livelihoods," said Professor Sir Jim McDonald, President of the Royal Academy of Engineering.
"I am also incredibly proud of engineers everywhere who have worked round the clock to maintain essential services, critical supply chains and infrastructure in unprecedented circumstances, using their training and skills to find innovative solutions to a host of problems and to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on our daily lives," he said.
"Engineering skills - including innovation and interdisciplinary collaboration - have proved to be of vital importance during the current pandemic. While I am delighted that we are able to recognise some of these outstanding achievements with these awards I am mindful that the important work of the vast majority of engineers will remain largely outside the public''s consciousness. They are all deserving of our thanks and admiration for their continuing positive contribution to society," said Professor Raffaella Ocone, Chair of the Academy's Awards Committee.
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