Biomedical Innovation Learning Experience – The Ampcontrol Ventilator Project

MCB Business Partners takes the lead in creating a collaborative framework for education, university students and industry to work together, creating an immersive Biomedical Innovation learning sequence for year 9 and 10 students.

Project Team Members: Duncan Burck, Ruvimbo Vusango, Tiana Leck and Nikyetta Pencheff

In March 2020, the NSW Government was reaching out to the leading R&D and Engineering companies across NSW to find businesses with the competence and capability to deliver a functional, prototype emergency ventilator in 18 days. The Ampcontrol team, without knowing what a ventilator did or how it worked, responded with a yes, to the call-to-arms.

A success story of Australia’s response to COVID, Ampcontrol not only produced a functional prototype in 18 days, but they also manufactured and sent ten pre-production ventilators for testing and submission to the Therapeutic Goods Administration (TGA) in the following months.

The Ampcontrol experience, from the phone call from the NSW Government to delivering the ten pre-production ventilators, has been curated into a complete turnkey and fully resourced Biomedical Innovation Learning Experience for Stage 5 iSTEM, but can also be used by teachers across and within other stages and syllabuses.

The Learning Experience

Students utilise inquiry and problem-based learning strategies to investigate the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic, and how it affected the way people have lived and have been medically treated patients when contracting the virus.

Students roleplay the engineers who have been approached by NSW Health to investigate and design a basic biomedical ventilation system, to assist the increased demand for respiratory care and support for the increasing number of patients requiring medical support.

The Team

Duncan Burck, MCB Business Partners: Project Leader

Pierre Gouhier, Restech & Ampcontrol: Student Sponsor

Tiana Leck and Ruvimbo Vusango, University of Newcastle Students – Mechanical Engineering and Bio-Medical Engineering: Learning sequence design, Ampcontrol storytelling, practical task exercise creation.

Glenn Lawrence, SPLAT Co-Founder and D&T Teacher, practical tasks conceptualisation

Nikyetta Pencheff, NSW Department of Education, Central Coast Academy of STEM Excellence, for developing and compiling the program, student workbook and activity content.

Dr Scott Sleap, NSW Department of Education, Secondary STEM Advisor, Project Lead SISP, Project Advisor


The complete program and downloadable resources can be found here on the iTeachSTEM website: Ampcontrol Emergency Ventilator Unit of Work

Some of our favourite videos

Ian Webster – Ampcontrol Group Engineering Manager – Emergency Engineering
Ventilator Project Video: Pump Assembly