March Graduate Speaker Series

March 275:30-7:30 pm
Topic: Healthcare Technology and Bioengineering


Hear speakers discuss their work on auditory feedback in speech development and desigining wearable devices to monitor prosthetic knees.


Stephanie Cheung, PhD candidate, Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering
“Perturbing children’s voices to learn how they speak”

Auditory feedback, the sound of our own voices, is an important source of information for the correct production of speech sounds. To understand how this feedback contributes to speech development, children’s auditory feedback can be experimentally perturbed in real time, and their compensatory speech productions recorded and analyzed. Novel analyses methods reveal that younger and older children may compensate differently, suggesting that auditory feedback plays different roles in the children’s speech as they mature.​

Rachel Reding, MHSc candidate, Clinical Engineering
“Designing a wearable device to monitor the performance of prosthetic knees”

Approximately one in every 150 North Americans currently live with an amputation, 20% of which have an amputation above the knee. Above-knee amputees rely on prosthetic knees among other components (foot, socket, pylon, etc.) for ambulation. Studying how these knees perform and tuning the knee to provide amputees with a gait as optimal as possible can be a challenge given that gait analysis equipment is expensive, and a large portion of amputees live in the developing world with limited or no access to advanced measurement resources. Moreover, a system does not currently exist that can directly monitor the internal components of a prosthetic knee during daily gait activities. To solve this problem, this research provides a proof-of-concept device, usable in a wide variety of environments, which directly measures the function of the prosthetic knee. The goal for the final device is to be sent to countries around the world to gather data from a vast number of amputees, and to use this data for improving current and future prosthetic knee designs.​

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