You are here

BME Capstone Design


Biomedical Engineering Capstone Design Course:
Helping People with Disabilities

  • A mobile vehicle that a 12-month old can drive?
  • A running chair for teens and adults with special needs?
  • A lift device to help care givers transfer an individual from bed to wheelchair?

These are examples of the types of projects that BME students have the opportunity to complete in a year-long Senior Capstone Design course. This course is partially funded through a NIH R25 grant with the theme of Aid-to-the-Disabled, and has many notable features:

  1. The student teams are truly inter-disciplinary, as each team will be a combination of students from Biomedical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and/or Computer Science and Engineering; and Masters of Occupational Therapy (MOT) students or Physical Therapy (PT) doctoral students from the College of Medicine.
  2. The course encourages direct interaction with the community.  This could be individual families, or local agencies that we partner with to solve real-world problems.
  3. The course includes a mechanism for commercialization of the most promising devices.  With the help of the OSU Technology Commercialization and Knowledge Transfer Office, some devices will be selected for further development, manufacturing and marketing.
  4. Students may have the opportunity to continue refining and improving their device as part of a Master’s degree.
  5. The course promotes an educational environment where persons with disabilities are respected and valued.

Partner Involvement

Examples of partners in our Capstone course:

  • My Team Triumph of Ohio
  • Down Syndrome Association
  • United Cerebral Palsy
  • Ohio State Wexner Medical Center
  • Miracle League of Central Ohio
  • Nationwide Children’s Hospital
  • TAASC-The Adaptive Adventure Sports Coalition
  • Columbus Speech and Hearing
  • NASA Glenn Research Center

Student Awards

Students have shown great enthusiasm and dedication to their projects and clients.  This had led to several awards at design competitions, including:

  • OSU College of Engineering 6th Annual Design Showcase (2013) – Three winning teams
    • "Biomedical Engineering" category: 1st place - Hip CPM;  2nd Place - Wheelchair Transfer
    • "Computer Science" category: 1st place - Inter-building Guidance System
  • OSU College of Engineering 5th Annual Design Showcase (2012) – Two winning teams
    • "Socially-responsible Design" category: 1st place - Infant Mobility; 2nd Place - KAir-FOrce
  • OSU College of Engineering 4th Annual Design Showcase (2011) – first, second, and third place overall awards!
    • 1st place - Low Vision Music Aid
    • 2nd place - Off-Road Wheelchair
    • 3rd place - Assistive Transfer Device for Adaptive Sports
  • Honda iDream competition (2011) – six student teams won first or second place awards.


Interested in more information?  Have an idea for a new medical device?  Please contact:

Mark Ruegsegger, PhD, PE
Associate Professor of Practice, BME
1080 Carmack Road                                    
Bevis Hall 270b                                            
Columbus, OH 43210
Phone: (614) 247-6890