Ten undergraduate students from the University of Kentucky (UK) College of Engineering recently completed a six-week clinical observation program at Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital. Students majoring in biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering and biosystems engineering shadowed healthcare providers in a wide variety of areas.
This engineering summer clinical observational program is a part of a larger collaborative educational program between UK’s F. Joseph Halcomb III, M.D. Department of Biomedical Engineering, Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, Human Development Institute and Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital.
The program is funded by an R25 grant from the National Institutes of Health’s Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and is led by Babak Bazrgari, biomedical engineering associate professor; Justin Huber, M.D., assistant professor in the Department of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation; and Christina Bard, division director with the Human Development Institute. The program provides an opportunity for undergraduate engineering students to participate in team-based design of assistive technology devices.
“A unique feature of our program is that unaddressed needs in the area of assistive technology devices are identified by students through two different approaches: 1) a summer clinical immersion experience at Cardinal Hill and 2) a spring community immersion experience that will be facilitated by the Human Development Institute,” said Bazrgari.
“I am excited by the possibilities of this program. Although as program directors, we are focused on expanding educational opportunities for these engineering students, their participation is helping to expand cross-talk between our departments. This is a recipe for collaborative innovation that will positively impact our campus, our community, and our patients,” said Huber.
“This program is a wonderful example of collaboration across the University. The access we have to the community through the Human Development Institute’s Center for Assistive Technology brings this pre-service training opportunity to local Kentuckians experiencing disability, and provides our students the benefit of feedback and interaction with people who have lived experience with the barriers they are working to address,” said Bard.
The summer clinical observational program is funded through 2026.
Students who participated in the program are listed below.
- Catherine Clay, biomedical engineering
- Bryce Grant, biomedical engineering
- Ruth Imarhiagbe, biomedical engineering
- Macy Kimball, mechanical engineering
- Daniel Roethle, mechanical engineering
- Marlee Scholten, biomedical engineering
- Trisha Sullivan, biomedical engineering
- Heather Thompson, biosystems engineering
- Jacklyn Tierney, mechanical engineering
- Kevin Tran, mechanical engineering
If you are interested in learning more about this program, please contact Dr. Bazrgari at firstname.lastname@example.org.