Plastic Prosthetics Team Bios

Plastic Bottle Prosthetics
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Team Interaction

As a team we have worked very well together. Each member has great ideas and attitudes for this project. We initially started this project without a well defined scope and direction. But through brainstorming together we really pushed the boundaries of what we thought we could accomplish together.

Team Members

Jennifer Gemkow:

4th year biomedical engineering student. I have always been interested in appropriate technology and hopefully using my knowledge as a resource to help others. Looking forward to discovering new technologies and learning more about other peoples projects also!

First, I would like to start with the challenge to go a week without the use of a car. I was skeptical as many were, but I did manage to not use a car for three days. Not as long as I could have with more dedication. I rode my bike to the store when I needed groceries and I rode my bike to a friends house when we studied at her place. But, by boyfriend lives across town, and although I could bike late at night there or home again, it really did not sound enjoyable. So the third evening I drove.

On the other-hand an intervention I really enjoy talking about is my time as a vegetarian and vegan. A while ago I read a book that made me realize I wasn’t happy with the foods I consumed. The book empowered me to question what I knew and led me to decide that I should become a vegan. For 4 years now I have been a vegetarian and have loved every second of it. I was vegan for the first six months. Although vegan cheese is tasty in its own way, I broke down and started eating cheese and eggs again. I view my time as a vegan as a success, I felt better with more energy and almost no digestive aches ever. But continuing on as a vegan came down to my want to be a vegan and my want to eat cheese. Many other people have initial reactions to vegetarianism as impossible because they could never give up meat. But all that I’ve found is that when you want to cut something out of your life you can, and the longer it is gone the easier it becomes.

Daniel Tachibana:

5th year Industrial Technology major with a passion for making, prototyping, and learning by breaking. My personal goals for the project are to expand my world view, develop relationships, and make something out of trash that helps people.

Intervention: Don’t drive for one week
I made it four days total before I finally caved in and drove my car to Taco Bell. Just kidding – I had to drive to work because I woke up late.

Aaron Rowley:

5th year Biomedical Engineering student with a love for upcycling waste, creative writing, prototyping, and community development. My goals for this program are to get my hands dirty, design on the fly, and above all, share our experience beyond our team.

Intervention: I initially focused on my tendency to eat meals outside of my home versus making my own meals. This intervention is still ongoing, but is actually not as significant as another intervention that I began that was not necessarily planned. I piled a lot of work on myself this quarter, partly out of my eagerness to do projects but also out of a sense of obligation to take on projects that were presented to me. Mid-way through the quarter, my schedule had virtually no time. I found myself constantly going to meetings, and rarely getting to bed before 4 am. After a conversation with Pete, we both came to the realization that it may be valuable for me to “learn how to say no.”

Since that conversation with Pete, I’ve made a more concerted effort to recognize what is valuable to me. It was clear that my workload was affecting my ability to manage time, which brought a new level of stress into my life. My intervention is ongoing, and thus far I have found small and subtle ways to “say no.” I am beginning to see that prioritizing what is actually important to me versus what I think I should be doing is something I have historically had trouble with. Moving forward I hope to pay more attention in hopes to attain a better balance in my life.

Sean Lang-Brown:

2nd year biology major with an interest in improving human health through systems thinking and design. My goal with this project are to challenge the common assumption that biomedical engineering requires a high level of technical skill and specialized resources.

My intervention started by accident. I was having difficulty finding an intervention that I felt was worthwhile and that would truly challenge me and change the way I see things. On the way to class one day, my debit card got stuck in an ATM. The bank was out of temporary ATM cards when I visited, so I lived for two week using only cash. That may not sound like a large inconvenience to many people, but for me, as a student who only has time to bike to the bank once a week to make withdrawls (I can’t use one of the on campus ATMs without my debit card), this required a lot more planning and thought than one might think. I suddenly had to plan all of my purchases in advance, because I did not want to risk carrying more cash than I absolutely needed. It was actually much easier to walk by Starbucks or campus dining and immediately decide not to purchase anything because I did not have money with me. I realized that I consider making impulse purchases many times per day, even though I don’t usually make impulse purchases of food. My day as a whole was made much easier by removing the opportunity to consider buying something. I found myself thinking about other things as I walked through the UU or past campus market, which was refreshing. I think in the future I may leave my new debit card and cash at home, since my mind, my health and my bank account will be better off.

Tyler Almeida:

4th year Information Systems major focusing in IT/CS project management. Through this project, I am seeking to gain a better knowledge of how to approach a subject I have no prior knowledge on (bio mechanics) as well as thinking outside the box of what we believe to be ‘readily available materials’.