The Northwest Subsection, Chicago Section, found a unique way to celebrate IEEE Day, October 6, at with a multi-part program at Oakton Community College.
The Subsection began the evening with a Student-centric presentation on the importance of professionals to students. Students learned about unique opportunities such as access to cutting-edge presentations and industry mentors. Students were invited to remain for refreshments and the technical portion of the program.
With the 2015 theme “Leveraging Technology for a Better Tomorrow” in mind, the technical presentation introduced the Subsection to the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago’s Center for Bionic Medicine’s ground-breaking work in intelligent prosthetics. Center Postdoctoral Fellow, Dr. Tim Reissman outlined the work of the Center in improving the life of persons who lost limbs to disease or injury. The CBM has been successful with techniques such are “muscle reinnenervation” – an innovative surgical procedure Developed by CBM director, Dr. Todd Kuiken, that provides a more intuitive way to control a prosthetic limb. In this procedure nerves in the remaining portion arm are transferred to target muscles that once controlled the amputated portion of the arm. The nerves grow into the target muscle, and now act as biological amplifiers of control signals from these nerves. Dr. Reissman showed how this new generation of prosthetics is evolving. The addition of sensors for such things as pressure and temperature gives the prosthetic a more natural feel to the user. They are also working to make them lighter and have better battery management.
Recognizing the students in the audience, Dr. Reissman stressed the importance of IEEE to beginning a professional career. Students learned of the role IEEE played at the Center for Bionic Medicine and how many of the researchers were IEEE members. Dr. Reissman showed how IEEE members at the technology of the Center for Bionic Medicine were paving the way for a better tomorrow for current and future amputees.