First-year biomedical engineering students selected as finalists in ASME design competition

A team of four Wayne State University first-year biomedical engineering (BME) students has made it to the finals of the Undergraduate Design Competition at the American Society of Mechanical Engineers Summer Bioengineering Conference.

The inaugural competition sought submissions from undergraduate design teams in the United States and Canada. Based on two-page descriptions of their designs, six teams were selected by a panel of judges to present their projects at the upcoming international conference, which will be held June 22 through 25 in Nemacolin, Pa. While undergraduate teams at all levels were encouraged to submit designs, most of the projects were submitted by capstone design teams of senior students.

"The selection of this first-year team demonstrates the excellent work that the new undergraduate BME students are doing, even early in their curriculum," said Michele Grimm, Ph.D., associate professor of biomedical engineering.

The team of Brandon Heid of Macomb Township, Ali Abdallah of Dearborn, Nigil Valikodath of Rockwood and Hajra Khan of Windsor, Ontario, which works under the team name BANH, designed a device that will allow a diabetic patient with the use of only one arm to test his blood sugar independently. The device was developed based on the request of an actual client who approached the BME Department for assistance. The conceptual design will be prototyped this semester to allow actual testing and feedback from the client.

Through sponsorship by the National Science Foundation, each of the Undergraduate Design Competition finalist teams will be provided with $2,500 to support prototyping and travel costs to the conference.

Wayne State University is one of the nation's pre-eminent public research universities in an urban setting. Through its multidisciplinary approach to research and education, and its ongoing collaboration with government, industry and other institutions, the university seeks to enhance economic growth and improve the quality of life in the city of Detroit, state of Michigan and throughout the world. For more information about research at Wayne State University, visit

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