N95 masks arrive at area medical centers courtesy of MSU’s aerospace engineering department

N95 mask

To help area medical personnel who are combating the spread of the coronavirus, Mississippi State’s Department of Aerospace Engineering this week donated more than 1,000 N95 respirator face masks to two area medical centers.

The department gave more than 700 masks to MSU’s Longest Student Health Center and an additional 400 to Starkville’s OCH Regional Medical Center.

“When it became clear that our medical professionals would likely need masks like the ones that we had, several people in the department recommended that we donate ours,” department head Davy Belk said, adding that they were encouraged to help by Jason Keith, Bagley College of Engineering dean. “We recognized that helping the health care centers is helping everyone, including us.”

The aerospace engineering department received the masks earlier this year as part of a donation from Smith and Nephew, a medical technology company headquartered in the U.K. Faculty, staff and students in aerospace engineering typically use face masks for projects that involve cutting or sanding either wood or carbon fiber composites.

“We have to thank Smith and Nephew for their initial donation and for enabling us to send the masks on to be used for a good cause,” Belk added.

An N95 respirator mask is a protective device worn over the mouth and nose and designed to fit tightly on the face to block airborne particles. The “N95” designation means the mask blocks at least 95 percent of very small test particles. If fitted and worn properly, N95 face masks provide better filtration protection than standard face masks.

The Bagley College of Engineering is online at www.bagley.msstate.edu and can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube at @msuengineering.

MSU is Mississippi’s leading university, available online at www.msstate.edu.