MME Study Abroad in London

Photo of hand pedal machine

MME students traveled to London this summer and had the opportunity to work on real-world projects while completing their senior design requirement.

Matt Serio (’16) and Eric Lee (’16) worked on the same project for a pediatric occupational therapist who works specifically with patients that have cerebral palsy or brain damage. 

Patients with cerebral palsy have lack the neural pathways connecting their brain to their muscles.  Therapists try to repair those pathways with muscle memory, and will often use repetitious motion, like with a cycle machine, to try to do this.

The therapist that these students worked with had an arm and foot bike in her office, but was unhappy with the way it functioned and interacted with her patients. The games that were supposed to keep children engaged during their exercises were causing them to become bored.

“At the bare bones, our project was making a cycle that was like a game controller for a character. When you peddle forward, the character would go up…We put force gauges in the grips so if you pushed further on the right or the left, you would move left or right,” said Matt.

In addition to completing their senior design project, students had the opportunity to tour the London Design Museum and visit the Tower Bridge to learn about its engineering concepts. They had several free weekends for independent travel excursions.

“I would tell anyone looking to study abroad to absolutely do it!  It was an intensive experience; I learned so much not only in regards to engineering design, but about Europe and the intricacies of a foreign country.  And we were able to travel a lot on the weekends, which was a blast,” said Eric.

Dr. Bailey Van-Kuren lead the project and has been for several years.