Master of Engineering Program in Biomedical Engineering at Cornell University: Collaboration With External Sponsors to Prove Concepts in Assistive DevicesBy Lipson, David; Journal of Rehabilitation Research and Development, Vol. 47, No. 9, pp. vii-xi
Publication Date: 2010
Article describes the establishment of a one year program leading to a master’s degree in biomedical engineering at Cornell University’s College of Engineering. Engineering projects are solicited from sponsors within as well as outside the university to permit engineering students to learn 4 key design dimensions: how to (1) understand customer needs, (2) reduce needs to a concept and design, (3) fabricate and test the design, and (4) deliver a documented prototype that can be reproduced. External sponsors have been companies and individual physicians hoping to develop a prototype of a clinical concept, 3 of which are described: (a) a lower cost stroke rehabilitation system that is portable and lightweight and can be used on a kitchen table, built for the Burke Rehabilitation Hospital in White Plains, New York and used in tracking kinematic characteristics of movement in stroke patients; (b) the Smart Walker, a walker that incorporates low cost, lightweight linear motors to activate its brakes at the touch of a button on its handles; and (c) a wearable eyeglass-type device that automatically blinks for patients suffering from paralysis of the levator muscle that controls the eyelid. Students are encouraged to meet alone with sponsors and to seek advice from colleagues in electrical and mechanical technology fields. Over 200 engineers have graduated from the engineering program since 2005, and many of those subsequently embarking on careers return to recruit students as employees and to sponsor additional projects.
Assistive Products Discussed: SMART WALKER
VA Rehabilitation Research & Development Service (Web Site: http://www.rehab.research.va.gov )