Initiatives aimed at helping others

Over the last few weeks, various initiatives have launched at FAU to offer assistance during the current coronavirus pandemic, whether for relatives of vulnerable people, for hospitals who are running low on protective supplies or simply for people who have run into difficulties as a result of the crisis.

We have set up this page to give anyone who wants to help and anyone who needs help an overview of the various initiatives currently on offer. All FAU initiatives we know about will be listed here. Is there any campaign or initiative you know about which is not listed? Please write an e-mail to us at

Technical support for schools in Erlangen

Bild: Colourbox

Some schools, teachers, parents and children are finding it difficult to cope with the technical requirements placed on them due to distance learning during the coronavirus pandemic. Who can provide support with problems with hardware and software? Prof. Dr. Andreas Maier, Chair of Computer Science 15 at FAU, has set up a free technical support service for schools in Erlangen, and is receiving a great deal of assistance from students who are volunteering their time. As demand for support of this kind in schools is so high, the team is still looking for more students with a technical background to help. Students who would like to volunteer their knowledge to help schools in the region to improve their online teaching can write an e-mail to the team.

Further information and contact details of the support service is now available on the Faculty of Engineering’s website.

Donations of laptops

You need the right equipment to be able to study online. FAU President Prof. Dr. Joachim Hornegger has now launched a call for help for students who do not have a laptop of their own or those whose laptop does not have the functions it needs for studying online: Donate laptops for students! Staff at the RRZE will refurbish the laptop and install the necessary software. The devices can then be lent out to students who urgently need one.

Anyone who has a spare private laptop or any laptops at university institutions which have already been written off and are no longer required can write an e-mail to and hand the used laptop in to the RRZE service desk.

Laptops should meet the following minimum requirements:

  • At least 4GB RAM
  • At least 100 GB hard drive/SSD
  • No older than 10 years

If you are unsure, you can bring your device to the help desk in the computing centre and our colleagues will check whether it is suitable.

Students who need to borrow a laptop should write an e-mail to

The Corona Card project

Handmade cards

The idea behind the handmade cards is that they will cheer people up during the coronavirus pandemic, especially care home residents. (Image: Jessica Schlegel)

Jessica Schlegel, who is studying cultural education, has been designing personal cards for friends and family for several years now. On passing a care home, she had the idea to start designing cards for people she doesn’t know personally. She hopes that her cards will act as a kind gesture to cheer up other people such as residents in care homes, who are particularly badly hit by loneliness in these times. ‘I want to encourage a community spirit and let people who are lonely as a result of the coronavirus know that someone is thinking of them,’ says the student.

Templates are available free of charge on Jessica Schlegel’s website. The black and white pictures showing various leisure activities can be printed out, coloured in and sent off.

Development of a diagnostic network

Screenshot on different devices.

Image: LabHive

LabHive is the name of an online platform developed as part of the #WirVsVirus hackathon run by the German government. The aim of LabHive is to increase SARS-CoV-2 testing capacities. Volunteers with the necessary skills, such as students with experience of working in laboratories, can register on the platform, and research laboratories can use it to offer physical resources. Diagnostic centres can then browse the platform to choose which services they would like to use. Theresa Müller studies computer science at FAU and is part of the 15-strong interdisciplinary team of volunteers who developed LabHive. She was involved in the design and is now looking for volunteers and laboratories who are willing to provide their services. The initiative has received funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and is being supported by the Björn Steiger Foundation.

Further information is available for volunteers and institutions who are interested in getting involved either on the website, by writing to or by contacting Theresa Müller directly.

Batch production of protective visors

Staff from the FAPS with protective visors.

Staff from the FAPS, like Sina Martin and Julian Seßner, are manufacturing protective visors using 3D printers (Image: FAPS/Hannah Riedle).

Members of staff at the Institute for Factory Automation and Production Systems are using 3D printers to manufacture batches of protective visors. Using a visor such as this reduces the likelihood of, for example, nursing staff becoming infected with the Covid-19 virus. The open source design is originally from an initiative started by PRUSA, a manufacturer of 3D printers. The visors can be disinfected and reused. Thanks to the dedicated effort of staff, they have already been able to supply a number of doctor’s surgeries, care homes and emergency services with protective equipment.


Helping from home: Making visors with private 3D printers

Materials science student Felix Maußner is manufacturing protective visors on private 3D printers as part of the initiative ‘MakersVsVirus Erlangen’.

Materials science student Felix Maußner is manufacturing protective visors on private 3D printers as part of the initiative ‘MakersVsVirus Erlangen’. (Image: MakerVsVirus Erlangen)

Together with his fellow student Kim Sauer and other helpers involved in the initiative ‘MakerVsVirus Erlangen’, materials science student Felix Maußner is producing visors on private 3D printers. ‘Up until now we have delivered more than 3,000 visors to doctors, care homes and pharmacies,’ he says. ‘Unfortunately there are currently a number of black sheep on the market who are offering grossly overpriced visors for sale. We offer them free of charge, but are happy to accept donations.’ Contact: The local newspaper has reported on the initiative.

3D-Druck gegen Coronavirus’ initiative

FAU students have launched the initiative ‘3D-Druck gegen Coronavirus’ (3D printing against the coronavirus) in order to help doctors’ surgeries and care homes by supplying them with the materials they need. They are cooperating with the initiative ‘MakerVsVirus Erlangen’. To the blog post.

A group of students with faceshields.

The initiative ‘3D-Druck gegen Coronavirus’ is cooperating with the FAU-Fablab, the Chaos Computer Club (CCC) Erlangen and MakerVsVirus Erlangen. (image: private)(image: private)


Protective visors from a 3D printer

Image: Paula Garcia Miralles

Protective visors from a 3D printer

Medical engineering student Paula Garcia Miralles is using the skills that she has learnt in the module ‘Scanning and printing in 3D’ (taught by Dr. Patric Müller) at the Chair of Multiscale Simulation of Particulate Systems to print assemblies for protective visors that reduce the risk of infection. Paula Garcia Miralles has joined forces with the team at who designed the 3D model and will distribute the visors.

Protective eyewear for Universitätsklinikum Erlangen

Man with glasses

Image: Michael Rabenstein/ Universitätsklinikum Erlangen

Protective eyewear has become very difficult to find on the market. Cardiologist Prof. Dr. Stephan Achenbach has now developed prototypes in conjunction with Prof. Dr. Dietmar Drummer, Chair of Polymer Technology at FAU. After checks by Prof. Dr. Christian Bogdan, Biological Safety Officer and Chair of Microbiology and Infection Immunology, volume production of the eyewear is about to start. Further information is available in our blog.

Materials scientists develop simple concept for the production of protective face masks

Man with face mask

Image: Siegfried Werner, LSP

Prof. Dr. Dirk Schubert has developed a procedure which he and his team at the Institute of Polymer Materials can use to produce respiratory masks from melt blown filter fleece. Hospitals or medical institutions which are unable to replenish their supplies of masks could use this product instead. Further information is available on our blog.


Student Socialization Initiative against COVID-19

Students from FSI WInf/IIS (FAU) and FS WIAI (Bamberg) have set up the ‘Student Socialization Initiative against COVID-19’ to ensure that students don’t lose contact with other students and to offer a way of making new contacts even during the lockdown. They have provided a platform which students throughout Germany can use to chat via Mattermost. They even plan to hold a virtual games evening.

Help with shopping: jobs portal pooling adverts

Anyone can enter private job adverts or offers of help free of charge under the ‘private part-time jobs’ category of the Stellenwerk job portal. This is a good way to find ways of helping other people, for example with their shopping.

Anyone who wants to help in their own neighbourhood may also find something suitable here

Harvest helpers needed

Anyone who would like to help with the harvest can sign up here: