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Engineering Impact: Summer 2021

Summer 2021

Edmund O. Schweitzer III and SEL contribute to race to beat COVID-19

by College of Engineering

Giving Back

Edmund O. Schweitzer III with donated SEL-2411TM in Purdue University Pharmacy.
Photo provided

Purdue Engineering alumnus Edmund O. Schweitzer III (BSEE ’68, MSEE ’71) and the company he founded, Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL), are contributing in major ways to the all-out effort to beat COVID-19.

The founder, president and chief technology officer of SEL is leading initiatives to:

  • Provide a temperature monitoring and logging device developed for storing COVID-19 vaccines.
  • Support local hospitals and organizations impacted by the pandemic.
  • Offer COVID-19 tests to employees and their families, plus community partners, in the area of the company’s Pullman, Washington, headquarters.
  • Operate vaccination clinics for community residents.

Since early in the pandemic, SEL has been working with local healthcare providers, academic institutions and community leaders, including Pullman Regional Hospital and Washington State University, to create solutions to meet immediate needs, evolving as the situation changes.

“Our company is committed to innovation and sharing our expertise to address critical problems facing society and our community,” Schweitzer says. “We are excited to be making a difference in the race to conquer COVID-19.”

SEL-2411TM display.
Image provided

Monitoring device developed in a week

SEL’s newest addition to the anti-COVID-19 arsenal is a device tailor-made for storing temperature-sensitive vaccines. A team at SEL went to work on a solution when a local hospital was unable to get a temperature monitor for its freezers due to backorders.

“Within a week of the request from Gritman Medical Center, our engineers developed a custom application of our SEL-2411 Programmable Logic Controller that meets the need for ultra-cold storage of COVID-19 vaccine in a very accurate, reliable and user-friendly way,” Schweitzer says. “We are thrilled to be able to provide this solution to hospitals and other vaccine distribution centers in our community and around the world.”

The SEL-2411 Temperature Monitor Digital Data Logger (SEL-2411TM), which features a touchscreen interface and SELdesigned temperature probes, works with any commercial refrigerator, freezer or ultra-cold freezer to ensure the integrity of refrigerated vaccines and other temperature-sensitive items. Backed by 24/7 monitoring through SEL’s operations center, the device alerts a user to a temperature fluctuation immediately. One system can track and record data for up to eight refrigeration units.