A Harrisburg University Professor who worked tirelessly to protect frontline workers from contracting COVID-19 during the last year has passed away due to complications related to the coronavirus.
Advanced Manufacturing Program Lead Professor, Dr. Charles (Chip) Shearrow, who produced more than 2,300 face shields for first responders and long-term care workers, lost his battle with COVID-19 Tuesday, Jan. 12.
When COVID-19 struck last year, Chip went into action to produce face shields for frontline workers. Since April, Shearrow spent every day producing batches of face shields on three of Harrisburg University’s 3D printers. He teamed with the Pennsylvania Health Care Association and other organizations to provide the 3D-printed face shields amid a statewide shortage of personal protective equipment. Through October, Shearrow, his son Charles Shearrow II, grandson Matt Walters, and wife Lynn Shearrow, produced 2,344 face shields for those who needed them free of charge.
“Our hearts and condolences go out to Chip’s family, friends, colleagues, and students,” said Harrisburg University President Dr. Eric Darr. “Chip’s work to protect frontline workers speaks for itself. Students have been able to pursue fulfilling Advanced Manufacturing pathways because of Chip’s work. His diligence and expertise helped elevate HU’s reputation, allowing our Advanced Manufacturing Program to prosper. His passion, energy and dedication will be missed.”
Following a successful teaching and engineering career, Shearrow arrived at Harrisburg University to lead the new Advanced Manufacturing Bachelor of Science Program in 2018. As program lead, he is responsible for the University’s acquisition of the state-of-the-art equipment HU Advanced Manufacturing students work with including laser cutting and welding equipment, water jets, Compliance Robots, 3D printers, and much more.
Thanks to Shearrow, the University’s Advanced Manufacturing Program provides students with hands-on experience and introduces them to current technologies and processes. Graduates of the program are dependable, pay attention to detail and possess critical thinking and communication skills. They also can be cross trained, have an interest and aptitude for technology and possess strong critical thinking skills.
Like many other programs adopted at Harrisburg University, real marketplace needs led the university to establish its Advanced Manufacturing Bachelor of Science Program under Chip’s direction. It is a program the University expects to flourish and become one of the strongest majors offered at HU.
It is the first comprehensive Advanced Manufacturing Program of its kind in the U.S. and only the sixth in the world.
“The program will be duplicated in the next five years by other universities around the world,” Shearrow said in April 2020. “Providing students with this experience will enable industry to establish new technologies in their manufacturing facilities and allow them to automate current and new processes. Advanced Manufacturing / Industry 4.0 is here to stay.”
His legacy and his vision for the program will live on through the Advanced Manufacturing Program and through the students he hoped to inspire to achieve their goals across many industries. Shearrow also wanted to ensure that Harrisburg University’s Advanced Manufacturing to be “bleeding edge” and to be a leader across the world.
Harrisburg 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 Chip’s contributions to the University.
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