Manufacturer signs on to mass-produce ventilator designed at Rice University

Work on emergency ventilator
Danny Blacker, left, and Fernando Cruz, staffers at Rice University’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen, assemble a prototype of the ApolloBVM bag valve mask automation device. (Courtesy Jeff Fitlow and Rice University)

Danny Blacker, left, and Fernando Cruz, staffers at Rice University’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen, assemble a prototype of the ApolloBVM bag valve mask automation device. (Courtesy Jeff Fitlow and Rice University)

An emergency ventilator designed and prototyped by Rice University engineers and students will be mass produced, the university announced in a news release April 23.

Houston-based manufacturer Stewart & Stevenson LLC has signed a licensing agreement with the university to produce an advanced version of the ApolloBVM ventilator, which is designed to operate a common bag valve mask for extended periods while patients await the availability of a standard ventilator. Work on the ventilator came through Rice’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen, based on an original concept by a team of senior engineering students in 2019.


“This agreement combines the strengths of S&S’s engineering, high-volume manufacturing and global distribution capabilities with the outstanding work by the ventilator development team at Rice’s Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen (OEDK),” said Joe Reniers, president of Kirby Distribution and Services, of which Stewart & Stevenson is a subsidiary, in the news release.

S&S has already applied for emergency use authorization of the design from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, and the design has been made available as a set of open-source plans.

More than 2,300 people from 105 countries have registered to download the plans so far, according to the release.
By Hunter Marrow
Hunter Marrow came to Community Impact Newspaper in January 2020. Before that, Hunter covered local news in Ontario, OR for three years, covering municipal issues, crime, and education across Malheur County and across the border into Idaho.