Two teams of undergraduate Capstone students from the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) at Georgia Tech and Emory, are finding success far beyond the borders of campus, with one of them taking home the top prize at a recent competition.
But then, the end of a semester is always Capstone season, when teams of student engineers show off the projects they’ve been working on for the past several months. Earlier this week saw the annual spring semester Capstone Design Expo at the Georgia Tech Institute of Technology, featuring 236 teams of underclassmen competing for prizes, including 34 teams from the Wallace H. Coulter Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) at Tech and Emory University.
The two Capstone teams that competed in the fall semester’s Design Expo continued capturing the attention of researchers and clinicians at the recent Johns Hopkins University (JHU) Healthcare Design Competition. SecURO and Libi Medical both made the finals in their respective divisions, or tracks, with SecURO winning first place, which earned them $4,000 prize and trophy (they gave the trophy to BME Capstone Director James Rains).
SecURO, now comprised of BME undergrads Jared Brown, Bailey Klee, and Rachel Mann, was in the Advanced Healthcare track. Sponsored by the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Fla., they designed a circular suturing device that will help surgeons perform safer, more efficient prostate removal procedures, with improved patient outcomes. SecURO automates the reconnection of the bladder and urethra, saving time and money while reducing potentially devastating postoperative complications.
The team also won the BME award at Georgia Tech’s fall design expo. Team members then included, in addition to Klee and Mann, Nicholas Quan and Madeline Smerchansky.
Libi Medical, which competed in the Global Health/Humanitarian Design track at JHU, reached the finals but didn’t win. The team did win the top overall prize at Georgia Tech’s Design Expo in December’s fall event. At JHU, Libi was represented by team members Elianna Paljug and Elizabeth Kappler. The original team also included Yahia Ali and Hannah Geil. Two other students, Jonathan Vehaun and Marino Lo, joined the team this spring to help with app development.
The team’s performance at JHU followed on the heels of a wildly successful competition at the ninth annual Rice 360⁰ Institute for Global Health design competition in March, when Libi Medical won both the top prize and the people’s choice award.