MRO Magazine

GUEST: Dr. Rafiq Ahmad, Assistant Professor, Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta.

TOPIC: The development of PROPOS (personal protective respirator) by Dr. Ahmad and his team at the Laboratory of Intelligent Manufacturing, Design and Automation (LIMDA), University of Alberta, and the role that additive manufacturing has played in the fight against COVID-19.


Additive manufacturing plays a key role in prototype and new products development. The LIMDA lab at the University of Alberta developed a personal protective respirator (PROPOS) using additive manufacturing technology in collaboration with Flexcim Manufacturing.

The PROPOS system is designed to prevent any possible COVID-19 droplet from reaching the frontline workers, such as doctors and nurses. One of the key components to clean the air is the A95 filter designed by ACAMP Inc.



Dr. Rafiq Ahmad is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Alberta. He is the Founder and Director of the Laboratory of Intelligent Manufacturing, Design and Automation, focusing on hybrid and smart systems, where he helped develop the personal protective respirator (PROPOS). He is also the Founder and Director of Aquaponics 4.0 Learning Factory, focusing on researching system design and development for plants and fish production in a symbiotic ecosystem indoor soil-less environment.

His research interest includes smart engineering systems design and development, digitization, lean manufacturing, hybrid-manufacturing combining additive and subtractive technologies, green technologies (3Rs: recycling, remanufacturing, and repair), sensor and IoT technologies, and industrial automation and robotics.

Dr. Ahmad runs numerous research programs and industrial collaborations targeting the implementation of Industry 4.0, smart manufacturing, robotization, and green technologies in manufacturing, agriculture, and construction areas. Dr. Ahmad is a board member of the International Society of Automation (ISA-Edmonton section, Co-UofA Student Section Advisor) and APEGA and ASME.





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