Successful interdisciplinary teamwork in Guatemala

Our scholar Leonel Regalado was part of a student team at the Francisco Marroquín University (UFM) becoming second in an international student competition organized by the “Make Impact Consortium”

An interdisciplinary team of students from the Francisco Marroquín University obtained second place in the Covid-19 Design Challenge for Students, a challenge in which teams from universities from the USA, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, Jordan and Australia participated. The UFM team also won the Media Award.

The challenge of the competition consisted in designing solutions for a hotel chain with the goal to make guests and staff of the hotels feel safe during the pandemic. Our scholar Leonel Regalado, an economy student, joined forces with students from Interactive Digital Design, Public Accounting and Auditing and Architecture to develop a blind, called Shielder, destined to protect people from the coronavirus in environments such as bars and restaurants.

Leonel comments: "One of the problems we noticed is that many hotels have very little traffic in or even have closed their food and beverage areas (restaurants, bars, etc.), which is the part of the hotel that rotates inventories the most in most cases. Therefore, we focused on the safe reopening of these areas. We created a divider made with materials that did not get the virus, and that also filter the air (copper and activated carbon) to put in restaurants and bars. We did a lot of research, talked to product designers, architects, and even went to see hotels in Guatemala to see what they were currently doing. I'm very excited by what we accomplished with my team during the competition."

Francisco Marroquín University is co-founder of the Make Impact Consortium, with the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and six other universities in the world. The Make Impact Consortium is an interdisciplinary program, whose objective is to integrate technology, innovation and the culture of co-creation of universities aware that entrepreneurship and collaboration promote human progress.

The first place in the competition went to Bahcesehir University, Turkey; and the third place was shared by the University of Michigan, USA and the Fontys University of Applied Sciences, the Netherlands.

For further information please visit the webbsite of UFM!