Centre of Excellence in Protective Equipment and Materials (CEPEM)

Based at McMaster University, the Centre of Excellence in Protective Equipment and Materials (CEPEM) assists in the research and development needs of Canadian companies, both existing and new, in order to develop the next generation of personal protective equipment.

The CEPEM was established in response to a call from Hamilton Health Sciences (HHS) to start local manufacturing of face masks and face shields due to the anticipated supply chain breakdown in March of 2020 caused by COVID-19. In just over a month, the CEPEM team provided design, identified suitable materials, and developed validation tests so that local manufacturers are now producing 20,000 face shields/day (Whitebird) and 20,000 masks/day (Niko apparel) to supply HHS. In this process, CEPEM also developed a testing facility that can assess various filtration materials for breathability (pressure drop), particulate filtration efficiency (PFE), bacterial filtration efficiency (BFE), and fit testing.


McMaster University
1280 Main Street West
Hamilton, Ontario
L8S 4L7

Area of Expertise

Design and development of personal protective equipment
Advanced manufacturing
Functional materials
Testing and validation


Process R&D
Product R&D
Materials R&D
Facility Access & Testing

Contact Information

Website: https://www.eng.mcmaster.ca/centre-excellence-protective-equipment-and-materials-cepem

Published: September 21, 2021

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