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Engineering Student gets Innovative

Eduardo Morales.
Photo courtesy of J.R. Hernandez
Eduardo Morales
Eduardo Morales, a Ph.D. student in electrical engineering, recently designed and built a 48-channel electrocardiograph instrument to further his research on the electrical activity of the human heart.

The device picks up electrical activity on the surface of the torso. He programmed a computer application that processes the information so it can be used to analyze the heart's activity and help diagnose medical issues.

Morales is in his first year in the Ph.D. program, and said he is interested in studying the electrical activity of the heart for a possible thesis topic. However, multi-channel electrocardiograph machines manufactured for the medical field cost tens of thousands of dollars—a huge barrier for a graduate student on a budget.

So Morales designed and built his own device for about $1,500. And he gained priceless experience in the process.

"Lately, I've dedicated my professional life to graduate research at our university in the hopes of a future of which my relatives can be proud," Morales said. "And even though I know how it feels to fail, I don't know how it feels to surrender. It took me 18 months to achieve a working prototype, but this is only the beginning of a life-long project."

– David Peregrino