Ventilator System: Optimized Functionality and Utilization of Non-Medical Supply Chains

At a Glance

Researchers at Colorado State University in collaboration with Woodward, Inc. have developed a Ventilator System to combat high costs and medical parts stream dependency of medical ventilators by utilizing industrial and automotive parts streams. Furthermore, the complexity and related training issues related to medical ventilators is considerably reduced by narrowing the functionality of the Ventilator System to provide only key functions required to ventilate patients sickened with the COVID-19 virus.


Ventilators for medical use are typically expensive designs that rely upon narrow medial parts streams for manufacturing and spare parts. These machines also typically offer a complicated functional list that requires extensive training time and related expense.

The COVID-19 pandemic of 2020 has created an unprecedented demand for medical ventilators, which in turn has created a substantial shortage for many of the parts used to manufacture these devices and support their spare part needs. The unprecedented ventilator demand has also created a shortage of people qualified to operate a medical ventilator, exacerbated by the significant training necessary to operate the highly complicated typical medical ventilator.


Woodward-CSU Ventilator Partnership Video: Woodward and Colorado State University engaged in a joint effort to develop a ventilator that could be quickly manufactured and deployed if the state faced shortages.  The project was a response to Colorado Gov. Jared Polis’ Innovation Task Force charged with developing rapidly deployable solutions to address the impacts of COVID-19.


  • Components are in a rugged hard-shell case that can be carried by a single medical professional for quick deployment to areas of need
  • Utilizes a back-up power source in case of electrical power outage
  • Does not rely on maxed out medical supply chains
Last Updated: October 2022
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