Summer Internship Scheme students tackling current issues in healthcare

Students from the Faculty of Engineering are tackling current issues in healthcare during their summer internships.

The Faculty’s award winning Employability Team advertise a number of exclusive summer internships with local and national employers each year. These fantastic opportunities are usually focused on a specific project, allowing our students to develop their skills in an industrial setting which is highly valued by employers. The duration of the summer internships range from 8 to 11 weeks, find out more by visiting the employability section of the website. Read on to find out more about the summer internship projects offered by Mechanical Engineering this year.

Students and staff  taking part in the Mechanical Engineering Summer Internship Scheme, pictured in the Employability Suite

Students and staff taking part in the Mechanical Engineering Summer Internship Scheme, pictured in the Employability Suite

Rethinking the female urinal

Ellie Maccarthy, Product Design student here at Leeds has been tackling the issue of limited access to female urinary incontinence solutions by designing and producing a female urinal, alongside a fellow internship student from Bristol University who specialises in Mechanical Engineering. Ellie has explored the usually taboo topic by interviewing an urologist from St. James’s Hospital in Leeds, collecting first-hand patient encounters and looking at current research in this area. Find out more about Ellie’s summer internship by visiting her blog.

Summer Internship student Ellie's sketches to address the lack of female incontinence solutions

Summer Internship student Ellie's sketches to address the lack of female incontinence solutions

New ways of rehabilitation for suffers of strokes and cerebral palsy

Jonathan Alderson, Computer Science with High-Performance Graphics and Games Engineering student has been developing rehabilitation games for MyPAM* using C# code. The games aim to make treatment more enjoyable than physiotherapy and can be completed in just 8 weeks. He also has the ability to tailor the games to the target audience, for example; sporting games for children or gardening games for adults. Find out more about Jonathan’s experience here.

Matthew Briggs, Electronics and Computer Engineering student also here at Leeds took on a leadership role during his internship, in which he collaborated with Jonathan. The old MyPAM model involved using a programming language with a low-level game engine, meaning it took up to 8 months to build. The new, faster game engine has allowed the C# code to be used to create realistic and complex landscapes for the user. The game has many benefits for both patients and doctors in that it is more stimulating/ engaging for the patient and in the future, doctors may be able to analyse data remotely from usage of the game. For more information on Matthew’s internship, see his student profile.

Jonathan Alderson and Matthew Briggs

Summer Internship students Jonathan (left) and Matthew, have developed rehabilitation games for sufferers of strokes and cerebral palsy

Virtual simulation to detect potential tumours

Adam Metcalf, Mechanical Engineering student at Leeds has worked closely with academics from the School of Mechanical Engineering to redesign part of the course, which includes practical work. He has been developing virtual simulations for tissue palpation - testing of skin to detect potential tumours – which will be used  to help students learn engineering and programming skills in their first year. Previously, this was practised using a physical prototype with silicon skin, however this is now able to be analysed through virtual on-screen simulations. Adam also undertook a summer internship last year too, which investigated the potential usage of facial recognition in healthcare. He researched using facial recognition for stroke patients to log into a rehabilitation game which diminishes the need to use the controller – much easier for patients with limited movement of limbs. Adam is also continuing his studies through a PhD here at Leeds, this decision was influenced by the topics he covered in his summer internship. Find out more about Adam’s summer internship by visiting his student profile.

Summer Internship student presentation on issues surrounding palpatronics

Summer Internship student presentation on issues surrounding palpatronics

Sensing technology to aid patient evaluation of thumb osteoarthritis

Belquis Haider, Mechanical Engineering student from the American University in Cairo has worked on the HAILO (Hand Arthritis Imperial Leeds Oxford) project, supervised by Dr Ali Alazmani, as part of her summer internship here at Leeds. As part of the project, Belquis helped develop a custom-made thumb splint with incorporated sensing technology which can send information to a mobile application for clinicians to evaluate the patients’ compliance with the treatment, and the interaction between the splint and the hand. The technology will greatly improve both individual patient care and the broader evidence base for those with hand osteoarthritis.

Summer Internship student presentation on thumb osteoarthritis

Summer Internship student presentation on thumb osteoarthritis

Further information

*MyPAM is a portable assistive system designed to help stroke survivors improve their arm function and rebuild their strength. Find out more.

If you are interested in a summer internship at the University of Leeds or are an organisation who is looking for the next generation of talented engineers, you can find more information by contacting our dedicated Engineering Employability Team.

If you would like to know more about the School of Mechanical Engineering summer internship scheme, contact Internships Academic Lead Dr Peter Culmer.