In April, just a few weeks after the spring semester pivoted unceremoniously to digital, Catherine Klapperich, a biomedical engineering professor at Boston University, was thinking about the fall. The Boston area had been inundated with Covid-19 cases, and at the time, tests remained scant. But the university had come to her with an unfathomable question: In four months’ time, how would they test students and staff when they returned to campus? The university didn’t have its own testing lab. So Klapperich, who studies medical diagnostics, was tasked with designing one.
“We had an empty room,” Klapperich says. “Actually, we didn’t even have an empty room. We had a room we had to empty.” Her team worked to repurpose the