Life Beyond Barriers announces funding for WSU biomedical engineering design lab

Ongoing donations of up to $15,000 per year will fuel undergraduate design and prototype development for products that aim to improve quality of life for the injured, disabled

DETROIT, March 26, 2013 Life Beyond Barriers (LBB), an initiative that combines the power of medicine, science, engineering and entrepreneurship to enhance the quality of life for the injured and disabled, announced today an ongoing charitable donation of up to $15,000 per year — to fund prototype design and development at the Wayne State University biomedical engineering undergraduate design laboratory. This funding will provide student teams with the resources necessary to design and develop approximately 15 prototypes per year.      

“By supporting innovation at the undergraduate level, we are enabling some of the area’s brightest, most ambitious minds to push the envelope and make a lasting impact on the lives of people around the world,” said Blake Mathie, vice president, operations, Life Beyond Barriers. “It’s the blending of passion, ingenuity and science that will result in immeasurable improvement of the quality of life for people facing obstacles resulting from injury or disability. Life Beyond Barriers is on a mission to find the game-changing solutions to everyday problems, and as a result of this funding, undergraduate engineers at Wayne State will be key players in that process.”  

To qualify for funding, student project teams will craft prototype development plans and present them to a panel of judges comprising LBB and Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan personnel and WSU College of Engineering faculty. Funding will then be awarded to teams selected by the panel, and the prototype design and development process will begin. Working prototypes will be tested by customers and potentially taken to market with the help of LBB, producing a new generation of inventive entrepreneurs.

“This funding significantly enhances the four-year, clinically focused design program that is at the center of biomedical engineering education at Wayne State. This support not only enriches the education of our undergraduate biomedical engineering students, it aims to improve the quality of life for people facing injuries and disabilities around the globe as well,” said Michele Grimm, biomedical engineering undergraduate program chair, Wayne State University College of Engineering. “By providing our students with the funding, and an avenue, to develop quality solutions to real-world patient challenges – and potentially take them to market – Life Beyond Barriers clears a path for entrepreneurial growth previously not available to our students. An extraordinary opportunity has been presented to us, and I have no doubt our students will embrace the Warrior spirit and seize it.”

About Life Beyond Barriers
Life Beyond Barriers is an initiative that combines the power of medicine, science, engineering and entrepreneurship to enhance the quality of life for those in need through research, collaboration and product development. Created in partnership through Urban Science, the Wayne State University College of Engineering and Rehabilitation Institute of Michigan, LBB combines world-class resources in the medical and biotechnological engineering fields to develop solutions that help people around the world overcome the physical challenges they face every day. For more information, visit

About the Wayne State University College of Engineering
Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution offering 370 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 29,000 students. For more information about engineering at Wayne State University, visit

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