Mechanical Engineering students shortlisted for global award

Fourth year students in the School of Mechanical Engineering have been shortlisted for the National Instruments Global Student Design Showcase for their fourth year project, MedSim.

The team will be presenting at the annual NIWeek event which will be held this year from the 3rd - 6th of August 2015 in Austin, Texas.

The team were interviewed in Texas earlier this week as part of KXAN News coverage of the event.

The student's project involves the creation of a fully functional haptic mechanism, accompanied by an anthropomorphic casing as well as a full teaching interface and aims to opens avenues for much more accessible and higher quality training for prospective doctors, thereby increasing patient satisfaction and safety.

The field of surgical simulation has risen to prominence in medical engineering, with an increasing need to provide training for medical professionals without jeopardising patient safety. Laparoscopic procedures involve the insertion of a Veress needle into the abdomen of a patient and doctors routinely perform these for the first time on a live patient. This inexperience can lead to complications resulting in the need to provide a means of practice. Lumbar punctures are a procedure involving the insertion of a needle into a patient’s back to search for abnormalities in the spinal cord or other parts of the nervous system.

Dominic Jones, mechanical engineering student explains: "A simulator for these procedures would prove highly beneficial due to its complexity and risk to patient health. Our aim is to produce a needle insertion simulator with haptic feedback which replicates both procedures using DC motors and a LabVIEW program for control."

Julian Hartley, Chief Executive of Leeds Teaching Hospitals said: " This fantastic technology is being developed through close collaboration between the NHS and a world class engineering faculty".

Dominic Jones, Angus Wooding, Rowena Madar, Satthaporn Barnes will be jetting off to Austin, Texas for NIWeek 2015 which takes places from the 3rd to the 6th of August. We wish them all the best of luck!