Project Sponsored by the
Primary Investigator : Steven
F. Barrett, Ph.D., P.E.,
The purpose of this program is to provide a meaningful design experience for University of Wyoming, College of Engineering students that will directly aid individuals with disabilities within the state of Wyoming. This program will provide a vital link between the University’s talented students and individuals with assistive technology needs. Students will create and provide prototype, custom-designed assistive devices to enhance the quality of life for the individual.
To accomplish these objectives the College of Engineering has partnered with the Wyoming Institute for Disabilities (WIND) Assistive Technology Program (WYNOT) as well as with the university’s Special Education Department.
The WIND Project Director, Dr. Sandra Root-Elledge, Ph.D.serves as the coordinator with the
community to identify specific assistive technology needs. WIND
will also provide training to the engineering students regarding
assistive devices and services. In addition, the project will assist
students with research activities through their AT Information and
Referral program. Project proposals may be initiated by the individual
with a disability, his/her family members, caregivers, teachers,
or any of the service agencies in the state of Wyoming. A short
project application is used to identify the desired assistive device
and the special needs of the individual. Contact Ms. Root-Elledge at (307)766-2764 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Undergraduate Design Projects
to Aid Wyoming
Project Assignment and Institutional Review Board (IRB) Approval
Once a project is determined to be of suitable scope for an undergraduate design project (one that can be completed by an undergraduate student, or a small team of students in one year), the PI will coordinate with the appropriate engineering department(s) to assign the project to an interdisciplinary student design team. Each student team will also be assigned a discipline specific faculty mentor(s). This process is illustrated in the Figure.
Overall, an individual with a disability will be linked with a student engineering team to provide a prototype custom designed assistive device specific to his/her needs.
The student teams first priority will be to complete a project proposal for review and approval by the Institutional Review Board for Projects Involving Human Subjects. The proposal will be completed in accordance with established IRB guidelines.
As part of the senior design course, the students are required to design projects using the scientific method and established engineering procedures. Students must defend the design as part of the senior design process. Once the design has been implemented it will be thoroughly tested prior to use by the recipient. The faculty mentor will also be heavily involved during the testing phase of the project. Safety of the project user is paramount. Safety features must be designed into the project in accordance with associated industrial safety guidelines and procedures.
Final Project Reports
For an electronic copy of the switch workshop manual, please contact:
Dr. Steven Barrett, Ph.D, P.E.