This past summer I did federally funded research through the McNair Scholars Program. My research focus was the splints used by spinal cord injury patients. I worked with Professor Kim Sherman to improve the product’s function, pricing, and safety. The 10-week program included thorough research of the product’s market as well as literature reviews and patent analysis. Apart from the preliminary research, I was fortunate to have two volunteers who served as case studies in the research. The two individuals have a C5 lesions (cervical, 5th vertebra). In addition to user feedback, I obtained critiques from physical therapists and occupational therapists on the developed designs. After a period of trial and error, I translated my ideas into Solidworks and had the prototype 3d printed. The work was showcased at the McNair Scholastic Conference in Buffalo, New York, and the Summer Symposium at Rochester Institute of Technology where it was the winner in “Engineering and Technology” category. After presenting the research, I submitted a paper to the program with my findings and final result.
I am very fortunate to have been selected as a scholar for the program and I am very grateful for the interests my research generated. My ideas were able to translate successfully thanks to the help from the medical professionals, users, my professor, and the technology available at RIT. I plan to continue my focus of design in adaptive devices and later, pursue a graduate degree.