Engineering is essential to addressing the coronavirus emergency

From the start, it appeared – at least in commentary – that managing the COVID-19 emergency was predominantly a task for the epidemiology, medical and public health specialists, and they keep on driving the worldwide effort to battle the outbreak.

However, the cross-sector scale of the challenge became obvious a week ago with the UK government’s appeal to the engineering network for help in manufacturing an extra 12,000 ventilators surprisingly fast. Aided by industry bodies, for example, Make UK, factories that generally make products ranging from Formula 1 cars to airplane engine fans wasted through no time in offering their help.

This is only the most noticeable example of a much broader mobilization that is taking place among the UK’s engineers to help address the challenges caused by the pandemic. The Royal Academy of Engineering is having its impact by asking its Fellows and partners to use their skills and networks to identify solutions and approaches that could help the public health response.

While innovative technology is significant, more application of essential engineering and design standards could also be advantageous. The stunning pictures of healthcare employees with facial scarring from PPE is a symbol of the limitations of the present plans. Basic engineering and human-centric design standards could reduce the risk of transmission in hospitals, buildings, and transport, through alternatives to hand-operated doors or lift buttons for instance. Engineering standards are significant too to efforts to improve the flexibility of our supply chains and network infrastructure and to support their ability to respond to massive changes in demand.

What are Essentials for Engineers in the Era of COVID-19: To get connected Organizations

For the individuals who never experienced remote working, it can be challenging. One of the keys to working effectively from home is to have a peaceful, dedicated place, free from interruptions, which is perhaps a little complicated when we have a lot of things happening around us at home. Obviously, you may end up with the opposite issue: sitting before the PC for hours and forgetting to get up for a break.

“The way to telecommuting is to find the right balance between these two boundaries: working 24/7 and taking truly much-needed sanity breaks,” said Thomas Fowler, VP of engineering, Silicon Labs.

The most significant tool is the PC, however, you’ll also require programming tools and spreadsheets. You need a monitor (or two), an additional power cord, a mouse, a docking station, and an incredible set of headphones or earphones with a productive microphone. Having an incredible video conferencing system is fundamental for large-scale collaborations.

Managing Hardware and Software Needs:

Some engineers like End User Support Technician, Server Engineer or, Network Support Analysts may have some fundamental test equipment at home. Or they may have a debugging kit or an assessment kit that can be used for some analysis, but actually, the capacity is extremely limited.

“While trying to address this challenge, we are trying to use a collaborative strategy. We may have only one or two individuals at a time in a lab to hold to social distancing, and they become the eyes, ears, and hands of other engineers who are working remotely. Those in the lab can perform the test arrangements, changeovers, support and more. When the right parts and systems are prepared, an application engineer or test specialist can regularly run a remote session where they can actuate the tests and get results. Without this collaborative method of activity, it is hard to get accomplish genuine engineering work. It’s basic to have at least a skeleton team available in the lab to move the design and test process forward,” said Thomas Fowler.

How the Coronavirus Is Impacting Freelance Engineers and Gig Workers

Has the Coronavirus affected freelance business and, if so, is business up, down or evolving? According to freelance marketplaces, platforms for gig workers and freelancers, gigsters, and some of the best spectators of what’s going on in the space, and it’s confirmed that there is a severe IMPACT.

There is, obviously, lots of commentary on the assumed effect of COVID 19 on independent experts and gigsters, however not a ton of up to date information.

“While a growing number of white-collar organizations are requesting that workers telecommute, gig economy organizations seem to do little to protect employees in the face of coronavirus — however, the pressure is mounting for them to do more. While engineers and business managers at organizations like Uber and Lyft can bring their laptops home and access corporate health resources, the self-employed contractors who ship passengers, hot dinners and grocery goods, cannot…”

Axios also referenced that demand for gig delivery services is growing as the virus spreads. Instacart said Thursday that its business this past week were 10 times higher than the earlier week — and 20 times higher where the largest number of cases have been reported.

Here’s how freelancer engineers can get unemployment pay for work lost to coronavirus

New coronavirus laws provide a litany of advantages to the independently employed, freelancers and employees in the gig economy.

I lost my part-time gig in light of the coronavirus lockdown. Would I be able to claim unemployment insurance?

Yes. The government CARES Act creates a brief Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, which provides unemployment insurance coverage to independently employed people, self-employed contractors and those with limited work history. (You should be available for work but unable to carry out your job because of the pandemic.) All of these people were barred from claiming state unemployment insurance benefits prior to the entry of this law.

What about the $1,200 economic assistance payments?

Freelancers and independently employed people can qualify. IF you documented a tax return form in 2018 or 2019 and earned less than $99,000 separately or $198,000 as a couple filing mutually, you meet all requirements for an economic impact payment. The amount of your payment will depend upon your adjusted gross pay.

People with an AGI of $75,000 or less, and couples with an AGI of $150,000 or less, will get the full amount of $1,200 per filer ($2,400 per couple). Parents also get $500 per qualifying child. The individuals who earn more will get a reduced payment until the payments evaporate completely.

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