Engineering resources for the COVID-19 response

Information for all phases of emergency preparation and response, curated by Elsevier’s Engineering Solutions team

By Elsevier’s Engineering Solutions team - April 6, 2020 - Updated May 1, 2020
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Welcome to our COVID resource page for engineering. Here, you will find information and resources relevant to the engineering community. Content is curated by Elsevier's Engineering Solutions team and focused on emergency management and prevention planning. The page includes guidance, early detection technologies, the latest innovations in engineering, personal protective equipment (PPE), personal hygiene engineering control measures, and environmental infection control (cross-contamination) to minimize chances of exposure.

We wish to thank the following partners for their support and collaboration: ASHRAE, Dunedin and Taylor & Francis.

To find resources for researchers, clinicians and patients, please visit our Novel Coronavirus Information Center.


Emergency response and prevention planning

The four stages of emergency management

Emergency management is the discipline of dealing with and avoiding risks, particularly those that have catastrophic consequences for communities, regions or entire countries. There are four stages of Emergency Management: (Source: Knovel)

  1. Prevention
  2. Preparedness
  3. Response
  4. Recovery

1. Prevention

Prevention involves taking actions to protect yourself and your community from getting and spreading respiratory illnesses like COVID-19. Everyone has a role to play. There are 3 types of prevention methods – primary, secondary and tertiary.

Primary prevention

Primary prevention includes research designed to promote health and identification of risk factors for developing a new health condition.

Here are two articles relevant to early detection of coronavirus:

There are relevant articles for coronavirus prevention:

Here is more related content generated by Engineering Village, a platform offering access to 13 engineering literature and patent databases:

Secondary prevention

Secondary prevention aims to reduce the impact of a disease. An engineering approach to deactivation of virus may involve Ultraviolet Germicidal Irradiation (UVGI). UVGI uses short-wave Ultraviolet (UVC) energy to inactivate viral, bacterial and fungal organisms so they are unable to replicate and potentially cause disease. For potential applications of UVC to control microorganisms in air and on surface, see our guide on UV Surface Treatments.

Tertiary prevention

This is a long-term measure. The control of microorganisms is an important concern in preventing contamination as well as removing or reducing it when it occurs. In the current scenario, an immediate measure to prevent this disease from spreading beyond control is focusing on personal hygiene and PPE to avoid further spread of coronavirus.


2. Preparedness for emergencies

Preparedness is a continuous cycle of planning, organizing, training, equipping, exercising, evaluating, and taking corrective action. These elements are the cornerstones of preparedness and focus on readiness to respond to incidents and emergencies.

Preparedness minimizes the adverse effects of hazards through precautionary measures that ensure a timely, appropriate and efficient organization and delivery of response and relief action. The goals of disaster preparedness include knowing what to do in a disaster’s aftermath, knowing how

to it, and being equipped with the right tools and information to act effectively.

Information on preparedness can be accessed via Knovel with free registration:


3. Emergency response

Emergency response involves the management of resources, including personnel, equipment and supplies and implementation of an Incident Command System in an all-hazards approach. The response phase is a reaction to the occurrence of a catastrophic disaster. Information related to preparedness can be accessed here:


4. Emergency recovery

Recovery activities continue beyond the emergency period and focus on restoring critical functions to stabilize operations and increase capacity to serve their community after a disaster. The goal of the recovery phase is to bring the affected area back to some degree of normalcy as soon as possible. The focus of communications efforts in the recovery phase of a disaster is on providing timely information about the types of relief assistance available to the individuals and communities victimized by the disaster and how they can access this assistance.


Industry news

Chemtiva provides the latest business news on novel coronavirus, from vaccine development to resumption of business activities in China.

Here are a few recent items:

Chemtiva also has the latest research on COVID-19, much of which is freely available. You can find more freely available coronavirus research in Elsevier’s Novel Coronavirus Information Center, including 20,000+ articles on ScienceDirect.


More resources and opportunities

Open source journal, HardwareX, calls for COVID-19 equipment designs

Healthcare staff around the world need medical equipment to cope with the rapidly rising number of patients with COVID-19. While the need for protective equipment and ventilators has been well publicized, hospitals and care centers also need everything from swabs and pipettes to sterilization equipment for rooms. To help, HardwareX – Elsevier’s open access journal specializing in open source hardware – is planning a special issue on medical equipment designs. All papers will be free to publish and free to read, and you can submit your design by June 1. Accepted papers will be made available online within a week of acceptance. Learn more

'Virtual Issue on Virus Dispersion, Disinfection and Human Protection' from the Journal of Hazardous Materials

As the novel coronavirus continues to spread globally, more uncertainties are unraveling with regard to how it can be controlled and how people can be protected. In this virtual issue, editors have selected relevant articles previously published in the Journal of Hazardous Materials. Similar to the ongoing efforts to repurpose currently approved or previously tested antiviral agents as potential candidates for the treatment of symptoms associated with COVID-19, it is reasonable to consider the current knowledge in existing models for dispersion of airborne viruses or previously tested antiviral materials for air filters to understand and prevent the spread of coronavirus. Read the virtual issue

Anti-viral engineered approaches to help defeating COVID-19

Current knowledge, as shown by the selected papers present in this special issue of the Chemical Engineering Journal, report the use of novel engineered materials and processes (and their combination) and modeling of the dispersion of airborne viruses. All these efforts and findings can today be employed to implement preventive solutions or curing methods from this pandemic COVID-19. This is an urgent need for today in order to stop this pandemic that has caused high mortality all over the world. Read the article collection

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