Biomedical Engineering Alumni

Andrea Downing

Graduated 2002
Currently working towards Ph.D at Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

What do you think about the LETU BME Program?

I received an excellent education at LeTourneau University. Not only was I challenged in the classroom, but I was able to participate in Biomedical Engineering research projects which prepared me both technically and personally for the challenges of graduate school. I have found that the education I received at LeTourneau far surpasses that received by many of my peers from other larger universities.

What are you doing now?

I am working in the Rehabilitation and Engineering Design laboratory at Arizona State University. In our laboratory we study such things as motor development in cerebral palsy (my area of interest), functional electrical stimulation for spinal cord injury, and deep brain stimulation for Parkinson’s disease.

Daniel Lockhart

Graduated 2003
Studying in PhD program at Georgia Tech

What do you think about the LETU BME Program?

The LeTourneau engineering program has given me a solid engineering background and has fully prepared me to successfully conduct graduate research. However, this is only a small component of my LeTourneau education. The personal attention professors provide, the relationships with the faculty, and, most significantly, the Christian worldview they teach and live is something special and unusual, a gift I value greatly.

What are you currently doing with your Engineering Degree?

I am using modern control system theory to predict the temporal dynamics of muscle activity in postural perturbations. Typically, the initial burst of muscle activation elicited by a postural perturbation is attributed to a feedforward mechanism. We are able to show that this initial burst of muscle activity may be accurately modeled as acceleration feedback, and that muscle temporal dynamics may be accurately reconstructed from the center of mass kinematics using a feedback control scheme with nonlinear neural delays. I have developed a simple model, and a robust optimization method using least-squares, min-max and particle swarm optimization to determine linear feedback gain values necessary to predict these muscle activation patterns.

Betsy Hunt

Graduated 2004
Currently pursuing Ph.D in Biomedical engineering at Northwestern Univ.

What do you think about the LETU BME Program?

I really appreciated the biomedical engineering program at LeTourneau. The classes exposed me to a wide variety of areas from medical instrumentation to biomedical control systems. This diversity within the program has not only given me a broad perspective on biomedical engineering, but has also allowed me to determine my specific field of interest: joint biomechanics.

What are you currently doing with your Engineering Degree?

I am attending Northwestern University to earn a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. I am funded by the National Science Foundation with a Graduate Research Fellowship. My research is located in the Sensory Motor Performance Program (SMPP) studying neuro-mechanics of the lower body.

Joe Gardinier

I graduated from LeTourneau University in 2003 with a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering.
Currently I am pursuing a Ph.D. in Biomechanics and Movement Science from the University of Delaware.

What do you think about the LETU BME Program?

At LeTourneau University I appreciated not only the academic excellence within the engineering program, but also the opportunities I was given to gain professional level research experience with the Biomedical Research Team. The experience and opportunities LeTourneau has to offer are not found anywhere else.

What are you currently doing with your Engineering Degree?

At the University of Delaware I obtained a Master’s of Science in Biomechanics and Movement Science, during which my thesis work involved developing an EMG-driven musculoskeletal modeling of the knee to evaluate knee osteoarthritis. Currently, I am continuing with my education at the University of Delaware and pursuing a Ph.D. in the same field. For my dissertation, I am studying the mechanosensitivity of bone cells and their ability to translate mechanical forces into the cellular responses needed to maintain the structural integrity of bones.