LIMBS International Awards Research Teams at 2014 Summit


LIMBS International Awards Research Teams at 2014 Summit

First place winners from Clemson University, Katelyn Rye and Sarah Stafford.
First place winners from Clemson University, Katelyn Rye and
Sarah Stafford.
Photo courtesy of LIMBS.

On Friday, June 6 The University of Texas at El Paso hosted the second-annual LIMBS Summit that welcomed 10 research teams from five different universities, to present their low-cost prosthetics project proposals.

According to Roger Gonzalez Ph.D., president, CEO and founder of LIMBS said that the annual LIMBS summits have become a significant gateway for students to present their research and network with other faculty students, who are currently working in helping the poorest of the poor.

"Just knowing what others are doing and being informed minimizes mistakes being repeated and accelerates advances in this emerging field to help other with affordable prosthetic and orthotic technologies," Gonzalez said. "This is a great opportunity for students to share both good and bad experiences of their research."

Schools that participated were Clemson University, the University of Hartford, John Hopkins University, Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Guadalajara and UTEP.

Participants focused on affordable and sustainable prosthetics that would benefit amputees in developing countries––following LIMBS International mission statement to design, create and test highly functional and durable prosthetic devices.

Students were in charge of developing a prosthetic foot, a trans-tibial (below the knee) prosthetic device, a prosthetic ankle and a neck brace.

Three research teams were awarded at the Summit. Clemson Univeristy participants, Katelyn Rye, Sarah Stafford, Delphine Dean and Johns DesJardins, took first place and were awarded the $1,000 prize with their proposal entitled a Woven Grass Neck Collar for Trauma and Rehabilitation. Jason Lansdown, Kevin Keenahan, Rochelle Dumm and Ian Graham, representing John Hopkins University, came in second place ($500) with their project, The Rightfit Prosthetics Initiative; and third place ($250) was given to the Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Guadalajara participants, Eduardo Barocio, Karla Bustamante and Joel Huegel.

First place winners from Clemson University designed a woven grass neck collar for trauma and rehabilitation. According to their proposal the collars were all hand-woven by basket weavers in Haydom, Tanzania using locally sourced grasses and reeds.

Moreover they developed and tested two generation-type braces, the first created to closely mimic the size and dimensions of a standard hard "Philadelphia" collar and the second was created from the modified design specifications to account for the woven materials' mechanical properties. The project's proposal concluded the neck brace may offer a uniquely powerful solution to the problem of neck injury stabilization for patients in the developing world.

Providing students with an opportunity to learn about the progress made by LIMBS research teams, LIMBS allows them to share their findings with other research universities from across the U.S.––ultimately expanding on the idea to continue the development on future Modular Prosthetic and Orthotic Technologies collaboration and according to LIMBS website, assist the 80% of the approximately 11 million of amputees that need a prostheses.

LIMBS International is dedicated to restoring mobility to the more than 11 million amputees around the world by engineering low-cost, highly-functional, sustainable prosthetic solutions, while empowering students and engaging communities. Currently, LIMBS International has established training centers and clinics in Kenya, India, Ecuador, Bangladesh, Senegal, Ecuador, Bolivia, the Dominican Republic, and Haiti. For more information, visit us online at

About UTEP College of Engineering: The College of Engineering is a national leader in engineering education and a leading producer of doctoral, master's and baccalaureate degreed Hispanic engineers. The University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) is the second oldest academic institution of The University of Texas System. Washington Monthly magazine ranks UTEP as #7 in the nation in its annual College Guide and Rankings. The magazine's rankings were based on a combination of social mobility, research production, commitment to service and cost-effectiveness of degree completion. For more information, visit