MORGANTOWN, W.Va. – For most college students, being a full-time student is hard enough, but for West Virginia University sophomore and multitasker Logan Forquer, that isn’t enough, so he works making personal protective equipment (PPE) five days a week.
Forquer, who is studying mechanical engineering, works at the Benjamin M. Statler College of Engineering and Mineral Resources’ Innovation Hub where he makes 500-600 face shields for healthcare workers while balancing five classes in the engineering college, according to a WVU press release. In addition to making face shields, Forquer also works making intubation boxes for hospitals.
He says he is able to work at the Innovation Hub and balance his schoolwork because he’s never forced to ignore his academics.
In the innovation hub, we really focus on education comes first, which is how it should be, being a student. One thing, running the WaterJet, you’re able to program it and once you program it you can hit go, it’s got all kinds of fail-safes, so if something goes wrong it’ll stop itself. It will give you a warning that something is going wrong, so it hasn’t been too difficult to work around working in the hub and doing school work.”Logan Forquer, WVU sophomore
Forquer said he started working in the Innovation Hub, when it first opened in January 2020. Back then, he said, they were just trying to learn how the machines work, helping produce designs for the likes of the university’s Baja and Formula teams.
Once the pandemic started, Forquer said, they quickly switched gears and began designing and producing PPE for healthcare workers. They had never done anything on the scale of producing hundreds of PPE a day, but they have managed to rise to the challenge, Forquer said.
“It feels really good,” Forquer said. “Like I said, it’s not really about me, it’s about being able to help the community and helping those in need. It’s also about — I’m just really thankful for them giving me the opportunity to work in the Innovation Hub, I want to thank Josh Bintrim, Kelsey Crawford and Colin, James and all those guys who are the head, who run Innovation Hub. I want to thank them for giving me the opportunity, for letting me work in this environment, being a student.”
Forquer said he is thankful for everyone who supports the work they do, like the university and the product suppliers. He added that he also wants to thank the healthcare workers who are putting their lives at risk to help others.
The sophomore said he wants to work in the Innovation Hub for the remainder of his college days and that he hopes to work in a similar environment after he graduates.
“I like to design things and then make those things myself so that I know that they work.,” Forquer said. “That’s a big problem in engineering, engineers like to make things, like they make the design of things and they send them out to be made. A lot of that stuff doesn’t really work because engineers don’t have that hands-on experience, like the Innovation Hub is giving me, so I would like to design things and make those things so that I know that they work.”