Former NAIT students win provincial STEM award for portable gait analysis device

30, Oct, 2023

EDMONTON, Oct. 30, 2023 – A former team of NAIT biomedical engineering technology students has won the 2023 ASET Capstone Project of the Year Award. The award is given out annually by the Association of Science and Engineering Technology Professionals of Alberta (ASET). Former NAIT students Frank Gauthier, McKenna Bentley and Megan Bauer received the award for developing a portable, cost-effective solution to gait analysis.

Their project, Tippy Tappy Toes (T3), features a wireless transmitter that is strapped to the patient’s ankle, two pressure sensors that slide under the sole of the patient’s shoe, and an accelerometer that attaches to the laces of the shoe. It collects real-time foot angle data as well as heel and toe touch-down and lift-off data and wirelessly transmits it to a workstation for analysis. The data can be used in a clinical setting, such as to assist with the treatment of patients who have experienced spinal cord damage.

“The project from NAIT solves a real-world problem: how to conduct gait analysis for clinical reasons without the expansive space and equipment of a clinical setting,” said ASET CEO Barry Cavanaugh. “It also carries on the legacy of NAIT biomedical engineering technology students submitting brilliant projects that truly help people.”

Eight other former teams from Alberta polytechnics/technical colleges were recognized provincially as finalists for the award due to their exceptional innovation:

NAIT Night Knight Child Sleep Monitoring Device
An all-women former team of NAIT biomedical engineering technology students created a smart teddy bear equipped with sensors and a circuit board that is able to monitor a sleeping child, informing the parents via a smartphone app of sleep-related problems.

NAIT Prophet 5 Synthesizer Rebuild
Remember the synthesizer sounds that made 1980s music so memorable? One synthesizer in particular, the Prophet 5, dominated the market and industry, and was instrumental in albums like Michael Jackson’s Thriller and Madonna’s Like a Virgin. A solo former NAIT electronics engineering technology student artfully recreated that vintage sound in a Prophet 5 replica he built from scratch, and at a more affordable price tag.

Lethbridge College Addition of Glass Fibers to Hot Mix Asphalt
Two former Lethbridge College civil engineering technology students set out to determine if the addition of glass fibers to hot mix asphalt would improve its performance. Their idea was that glass fibers would bond with the asphalt and generate elastic-like properties within it, causing less wear and tear of the asphalt.

Lethbridge College Virtual Versus Physical Wind Tunnel for Air Flow Testing
A former team of Lethbridge College engineering design and drafting technology (EDDT) students investigated whether or not a computer software program, specifically computational fluid dynamics (CFD) software, is as effective as a physical wind tunnel when testing air flow around an object. They were pleasantly surprised by the results.

Lethbridge College Basalt Fibers as Alternative to Rebar
A former team of Lethbridge College civil engineering technology students explored the potential of substituting chopped basalt fibers for rebar in concrete.

SAIT Guideline to Improve Efficacy of Stick-Slip Mitigation Software App
By producing a guideline with recommendations for the most effective use of a software app whose function is to mitigate stick-slip during oil drilling operations, two former SAIT petroleum engineering technology students unearthed a way to increase efficiency in the oil and gas industry and help reduce its carbon footprint. Stick-slip occurs when friction between a drill bit and rock formation causes the bit to momentarily stick then slip, resulting in damaging torsional vibrations that impede drilling productivity.

SAIT Filtration of Microplastics from Seawater
An all-women former team of SAIT chemical laboratory technology students tested new media for filtering microplastics from seawater.

SAIT Comparing Terrestrial and Aerial (Drone) Survey Methods
A former team of SAIT civil engineering technology students compared doing surveying work by land versus using drones.

About ASET
ASET is the professional self-regulatory organization for engineering technologists and technicians in Alberta. ASET currently represents over 17,000 members, including full-time technology students, recent graduates and fully certified members in 21 disciplines and more than 120 occupations across a multitude of industries.

Media Contact:
Michele Penz, Calico Communications for ASET


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