Last Few Weeks of Fall 2016

As I write this blog entry, we are just about 5 weeks away from the end of the semester! It’s crazy to think that we are almost halfway done with our master’s degrees (though there is still plenty to do haha). I’ve stayed quite busy since my last blog entry in early October, having made a decent amount of progress on my individual project since then! As a reminder, my project is focused on developing a non-invasive stent removal method for pediatric urology patients that removes the need for anesthesia. The project was started as a senior design project during the 2015-16 school year, and I am responsible for continuing its development. I decided in October to slightly pivot the project and return to the basic design stage to generate alternative stent removal concepts and determine the best concept to move forward with.

As of now, I have passed the initial concept generation stage and have formulated two overarching ideas for the stent removal device, both involving the use of magnets in some way. My plan is to first use the former team’s existing prototype in conjunction with a new testing setup to determine the efficacy of that device in a more biologically accurate environment. Based on the results of that testing, I will decide to either work to improve their device or construct a new prototype of my own design.

Aside from my individual project, our GMI group design project has started to pick up! As a team, we gathered more than 300 needs from the medical field in the US, Costa Rica, Brazil, and India, narrowed those needs down to the top 5 based on an iterative analysis process, and are now working to conduct more in-depth research for our top 3 needs in order to begin concept generation in the next two weeks. This stage of the project is extremely important and exciting as we are choosing the project we will be working on until the end of our degrees! It is a lot of responsibility, but a great responsibility to have. My team has already worked so hard in this initial stage of needs finding, needs screening, and needs validation, I cannot wait to see what we accomplish when we begin working on our chosen concept in the spring!

The next time you hear from me it will be the top of December right after the end of classes! Until then!

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