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January 14, 2021

Harrisburg University professor behind 3D printed face shields dies of COVID-19

Dr. Charles 'Chip' Shearrow remembered as 'cornerstone' of community

Obituaries COVID-19
Charles Shearrow Harrisburg Source/Harrisburg University

Dr. Charles 'Chip' Shearrow, 61, died this week after a battle with COVID-19. A professor at Harrisburg University, Shearrow and his students created 3D printed medical face shields for health care workers across Pennsylvania.

The Harrisburg University professor who spearheaded an initiative to produce 3D-printed face shields for frontline workers has died of COVID-19, the college confirmed on Wednesday.

Dr. Charles "Chip" Shearrow, 61, died Tuesday after a battle with the illness that had inspired him to take action.

As lead professor of the university's Advanced Manufacturing Program, Shearrow recruited his students to develop and distribute more than 2,300 medical face shields to caregivers in skilled nursing facilities, assisted living residences and personal care homes.

The shields were created using the university’s Fortus 450 Stratasys 3D printer, a project Shearrow undertook with help from his son, Charles A. Shearrow II, and Matt Walters, another student in the program. Materials were provided by 3D-printing solutions company Stratasys, which formed a coalition with other 3D-printer owners to ramp up production.

"It is with deep sadness I write to you today about the untimely passing of Dr. Charles (Chip) Shearrow," university spokesperson Steven Infanti said in a statement. "Chip passed away earlier this week due to complications related to the coronavirus. As many of you have already written and expressed, Chip was not only the leader of our Advanced Manufacturing program, he was a cornerstone of our community. He approached life with optimism, wit, brilliance and a 'can-do' spirit."

The university is working to establish an award for outstanding students, as well as a scholarship fund in support of advanced manufacturing students as ways of remembering and honoring Shearrow's contributions.