The IFESS Next Gen Initiative: Are you being served?

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The International Functional Electrical Stimulation Society (IFESS) promotes the understanding, development, application and use of electrical stimulation for the betterment of mankind. The future of these technologies and IFESS rests on the development and success of the next generation of clinical/scientific/engineering professionals. As a society we aim to help in the development of this next generation by promoting education, networking, and career development opportunities. This workshop aims to bring together students and early career individuals to highlight available initiatives and opportunities which IFESS Next Gen can take advantage of. We would also like to learn from IFESS Next Gen about what future initiatives you would like to see to help support your career progression. Please attend this workshop to help develop the future direction of the IFESS Next Gen Initiative. To start the session we are delighted to welcome early career researcher Dr Andrew Ekelem for an interview to talk about his career choices and experiences of making the successful transition from PhD into industry. Andrew will be available to take questions at the end of the interview.
 

Presenter

Cathy Bulley

Dr Andrew Ekelem, Ph.D.

Andrew Ekelem, PhD developed a passion for neuroengineering after a 'crash-course' experience of a traumatic spinal cord injury during college. This first-hand experience of SCI and the following rehabilitation motivated Ekelem's pursuit of coursework in neuroscience and bioengineering at the University of California, Berkeley. Ekelem pursued undergraduate research opportunities at the Reeve Irvine Research Center where he explored retrovirus capability to stimulate axon growth, and then at the Human Engineering Lab (HEL) to explore electromyography control of a lower limb exoskeleton. Oddly Ekelem's spasticity made the exoskeleton ineffective for his own ambulation, but through happenstance he met Brian Andrews, PhD, a prominent FES researcher, who was touring HEL and introduced Ekelem to the concept of functional electrical stimulation (FES). Ekelem was immediately intrigued about artificial muscle stimulation and shortly after hacked a muscle stimulator with a toggle switch to create a neuroprosthesis that resulted in his first steps taken after two years of paraplegia. Hooked, Ekelem wanted to learn more so he attended the best conference, IFESS 2012, where his mind was blown from the latest research on BCI, DBS, implantables, and non-invasive treatments for a range of neural impairments. From there Ekelem contributed to graduate-level research at the Center for Intelligent Mechatronics where the Vanderbilt Exoskeleton prototype was transformed into the Indego exoskeleton product that is now commercially available. Now Ekelem is serving as the Chief Product Officer at Evolution Devices with the mission to evolve movement therapy with cutting-edge affordable technologies that enable anyone, anywhere to receive personalized rehabilitative care. 


Moderators

Dr Ken Yoshida, Department of Biomedical Engineering, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, Indianapolis, USA

Dr Tamsyn Street, Salisbury NHS foundation Trust, UK

Event Fee
IFESS members €0.00
Non-IFESS members (approx. £ 4.76 and $ 7.42) €6.50

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