Julian Callanan (Executive MBA in Dubai, 2015) is donating protective gear to those on the frontline of the coronavirus response.

Published (Updated )

When Cass Business School alumnus Julian Callanan (Executive MBA in Dubai, 2015), left his steady-paying job at an international research and consulting firm to step into the world of entrepreneurship in 2017, Sinterex – his Dubai-born start-up – became the first company in the Middle East to commercially deploy metal 3D printing technology.

Specialising in medical 3D printing, Sinterex works hand in glove with clients in the United Arab Emirates and further afield to create highly personalised solutions for complex patient cases – which, at times, can be the difference between life and death. These solutions come in the form of 3D surgical guides and titanium printed patient-specific implants.

As the world grapples with coronavirus, Julian is now focusing on ways he can support the local medical community who are confronted with the extraordinary challenge of tackling the pandemic.

With healthcare providers facing shortages in personal protective equipment due to global supply chain disruptions, Julian is leveraging his resources to design and manufacture face shields, which are then donated to medical workers.

To date, Sinterex has donated over 1000 face shields to hospitals across the UAE.

“When the outbreak started, our first thought was how can we support our customers and what can we do for them in this challenging time. We developed face shields, which are pretty simple devices – to be worn in tandem with face masks – but incredibly effective in protecting workers against infection,” says Julian.

“Through my work at Sinterex, I’ve witnessed firsthand the extreme pressure that healthcare workers are under, and that’s given me immense respect for their profession. This is why we didn’t want the distribution of our face shields to be a revenue-generating exercise. It’s more about trying to do our part with the help of technology.”

Julian says he is also working on developing 3D printed swabs for Covid-19 testing to counter the global shortage of test kits. The swabs are designed with a lattice honeycomb structure which will be "very efficient" for the capture and release of patient samples.

“What we’re trying to do is work with the healthcare authorities here in the UAE to see if we can get the swabs tested for their efficacy. This will be a solution for hospitals if traditionally manufactured swabs aren’t available.”