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Biomedical Competition & Smith and Nephew Lecture: Modern Medical Devices impacting rehabilitation of disabled people: Case of lower limb amputees and exo leg for the elderly

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The EMHD Annual Medical and Health Engineering Student Project Competition is the foremost medical engineering student project competition in the UK and provides an opportunity for students across a wide variety of disciplines to present their work.

The competition is open to recent graduates (2013), third/fourth year undergraduates and taught Masters degree course students, who have completed or are working on a medical engineering project. Those who graduated in 2013 and those graduating in 2014 and 2015 are eligible to enter. Runners-up will receive £50 book tokens.  For more information on the competition, how to apply and a breakdown of the competition categories, please visit http://events.imeche.org/events/o1556

The competition is followed by the Smith and Nephew Lecture – Modern Medical Devices impacting rehabilitation of disabled people: Case of lower limb amputees and exo leg for the elderly.


Today’s medical devices in Rehabilitation of the disabled is outpacing the ability of our industry to accommodate the cost and logistics of implementation. However, in cases where and when the cost constraints are not applied,  the impact of application of advance devices on life of disabled people had never been more apparent than today’s cases demonstrated in media particularly in the last few years. The Challenges posed by young soldier lower limb amputees or paralympians participating in main Olympic events has been well publicised. These users are now finding themselves amongst the ordinary disabled population. Application of today’s technologies for the main stream disabled and ageing population who have similar needs for comfort, stability and confidence is the new challenge facing our industry in order to meet current society’s need and demands.

Understanding underlying biomechanics leads the integration of knee and foot under a single controller following the biological role model of inter-joint coordination, mimicking functions, where the knee joints functions interact with ankle-foot functions. This application in lower limb prosthesis, exo leg orthotic as well as future mobility aid for aging population is aimed at enhancing security, safety; reducing compensational effort in dealing with Activities of Daily Living and preventing falls.  Our findings shows there is a clear need for the knee to know what the ankle is doing, powered by hip muscular engine, and/or assisted externally. The system integration needs to adapt its control strategy for ADL. Further work is required to establish other areas of ADL where integrated, inter-limb coordination and reciprocated inter joint control may be advantageous over the separated control of individual joints for the ultimate goal of enhancing and prolonging independent living. This presentation aims to update the state of science and provide examples in an approach to design of new devices aimed at fulfilling this new unmet need, ensuring continuation of immediate real outcome and long term clinical and health economic benefits.

Professor Saeed Zahedi OBE FREng, RDI is among the leading designers of prosthetics. Technical Director of Chas A Blatchford & Sons, Fellow of the Royal Academy and Institute of Mechanical Engineers, received a Special Commendation in the Prince Philip Designer prize for 2011. He is this year recipient of Royal Designer for Industry and for over 10 years have been a visiting Professor at University of Surrey and other institutions. He and his team were finalists in the 2010 McRoberts award; this led to their 4th Queens Awards for technological achievement. A member of ISO, CEN and IEC Working Groups, Saeed has won several other prizes for scientific papers, including 5 BLESMA awards, IMechE Special Needs, ISPO Forchheimer as far back in 1989, for his PhD work conducted at Strathclyde University. He is the author and presenter of over 125 papers, books, scientific publications, over 35 patents, and plays an active role in American associations. He was responsible for commercialisation of first Intelligent Prosthesis in early 90’s and currently works with his team on the development of an advanced integrated prosthesis utilising microprocessor control ankle/foot and knee joints for lower limb amputees aiming at increased efficiency and independent living.  He received BHTA life time achievement award in 2013.


To book your place, follow the ‘Book/Register Now’ link at the top of this page.

To register an interest or to find out more information, contact our team on eventenquiries@imeche.org or call +44 (0)20 7973 1258.



February 27, 2014


Institute of Mechanical Engineers
1 Birdcage Walk, London, SW1H 9JJ United Kingdom
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Institute of Mechanical Engineers
+44 44 (0)20 7304 6829

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