Duke BME Teams Triumph in Design Competitions

June 5, 2020

Student design teams earn awards and recognition in multiple design competitions

Students in the spring semester of Design 101 move shelves into a storage container, which will become a functioning design space. The team was recognized at the Global Innovation Challenge for their project.

Students in the spring semester of Design 101 move shelves into a storage container, which will become a functioning design space. The team was recognized at the Global Innovation Challenge for their project.

Through the expanding design curriculum in Duke University’s Department of Biomedical Engineering, students develop practical design skills that allow them to turn innovative ideas into impressive prototypes. Recently, multiple student teams have used their skills to succeed in major design competitions. 

One team of graduate students from the recently launched Duke Design Health program received second place at both the 2020 Johns Hopkins Healthcare Design Competition in the Advanced Health Category, and at the Innovate Carolina Student Competition. The Duke team was recognized for their EmboGuard project.

Three teams of master’s students in the Medical Device Design program were accepted to present in the University of Minnesota’s Design of Medical Devices Conference. The first team, led by Anna Matthews, Nicolas Swischuk, Brandon Tramontana and Michael Wong, were recognized for their device that could rapidly diagnose pleural effusion, which occurs when excess fluid builds up in the lungs. Jennifer DeLuca, Anish Nigade, Aaron Czeisperger and Adrianna Battle showcased their bioptome design, which involved a rotating, steerable pinching tool that could store samples of endomyocardial heart tissue for biopsies. A team led by Rosa Araiza, Chirag Gyani, Yuhan Liu and Craig Warlen presented their project, titled “A Dynamic Roadmap for Interventional Vascular Applications.” This team was also a finalist in the virtual competition.

This design success was not limited to graduate student teams, with two teams of undergraduate students receiving first and second place in the undergraduate track in the Innovate Carolina Student Competition. Rebecca Seikel, Will Inigo, Rick Lyon and Gabriel Carusetta earned first place for their project, “Anteroinferior Shoulder Reduction.” Morgan McCloud, Sophie Vincoff and Kristie Chen earned second place for their project about improving cricothyrotomy training on mannequins. A third team, comprised of BME Design Fellows Jack Dozier and Ben Wesorick, won the NC Biotechnology Center Award for their project, "An Ultraviolet Light Device for Surgical Drain Disinfection." The duo received  follow-up translational research grant funding for their Design Fellows project, which was initially subsidized by MEDx. 

And, a team from Duke Engineering’s First-Year Design course, led by BME Professor of the Practice Ann Saterbak, was recognized at the Global Social Innovation Challenge at the University of San Diego for their project that involved turning a shipping container into a functioning design space for resource-limited settings.

“This success speaks to the strength of the design program in Duke BME,” says Mark Palmeri, an associate professor of the practice in Duke BME and member of the team involved in developing the design curriculum. “The ability to bring a design to life is a ubiquitous skillset, and when students graduate and go on to jobs, it’s programs like this that allow them to hit the ground running.”