Biomedical Engineering Technology students showcase vital signs machines

Third-year Biomedical Engineering Technology program students show off their skills using homemade blood pressure monitors during their final project presentation day.

May 10, 2011

Spring is finally here and for some Durham College students it means their first semester is winding down and for others it may be the last semester of their college careers. For third-year Biomedical Engineering Technology students, this is also the time of year for their final presentations.

On April 14, the students took part in the college’s annual Biomedical Engineering Technology final project presentation day. Split into two teams of five, they competed to build and design the best blood pressure monitor that they then demonstrated to faculty and fellow students.

The project was assigned to the students in September, giving them the entire academic year to put together teams and research, test and create the monitors from scratch. Professor Rick Tidman couldn’t have been more impressed by his students.

“Both teams of students have more than exceeded my expectations throughout this program,” he said. “These students have chosen to work at the bedside of patients and help improve their overall care.”

Justin Prescott, team captain of the Cardiac Crusaders, couldn’t help but get excited when the project was announced. “This project helped me become really passionate about biomedical technology,” he said. “When we sat in on last year’s presentations, I became really excited and looked forward to this opportunity.”

The morning session featured clinical applications that saw students give PowerPoint presentations about their machines, their purposes and their functionality.

The afternoon session gave students an opportunity to showcase their technical applications and demonstrate the process they went through to build the blood pressure monitors. While electronic work does consist mostly of trial and error, the long hours and extensive research put in by each student resulted in promising and useful devices.

Although having to conduct professional presentations in front of faculty and community partners might seem intimidating, the Biomedical Engineering Technology students have had lots of practice.

“Throughout this program we’ve done lots of presentations,” said Prescott. “I think we’re all very confident in ourselves and the knowledge required to do something like this.”

It’s mostly trial and error with electronics but these students put in long hours and extensive research that resulted in promising and useful devices. Tidman was pleased to announce that Prescott’s team and their MED-SINE 1000 monitoring device was chosen as the project’s top blood pressure monitor. Congratulations to the following team members:

  • Dion Combdon;
  • Stephen Notzl;
  • Peter Melowsky;
  • Matthew Charter; and
  • Justin Prescott.

“There really isn’t a prize beyond bragging rights,” said the proud instructor. “I was impressed by both devices and the outstanding efforts behind them.”