Biomedical Engineering Activity Box

Explore the multi-disciplinary field of Biomedical Engineering!
Related Engineering Disciplines: Biomedical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering
You can learn more about this box and purchase it here.

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Engineering Activity Box Extensions and Tips

Organ Puzzle: Design your own artificial organ in the space provided on the organ puzzle template, and use it in your puzzle.

Occupational Therapy: Consider the following challenges - What if the client using your device could only move their shoulder, not the arm? What if the client cannot move their hand at all? How would you modify your design?

Targeted Muscle Reinnervation: Look up the major nerves which innervate the muscles in the forearm and hand, and what they do. Can you find out which nerve you were innervating in this project?

Dr. Ashley Darymple

Ashley Darymple


Dr. Ashley Darymple was a DiscoverE instructor and GEM Club coordinator. Originally from Wetaskiwin, AB, Ashley did an undergraduate degree in the Biomedical option of Electrical Engineering and completed her PhD in Neuroscience at the University of Alberta. She then moved to Melbourne, Australia and worked at the Bionics Institute. She is now a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Pittsburgh in the USA. Her research focuses on movement after injury to the nervous system and using electronic devices to communicate with the spinal cord and other areas of the body. She loves combining engineering and neuroscience to improve the lives of people after injury. Ashley has a second degree black belt in karate and loves to bake, especially cupcakes!

What made you want to study biomedical engineering?
In the first year of my undergraduate degree, I was a little lost. We had a course where different professors would talk about their research to give us an idea of what each engineering discipline was like. I remember being mesmerized by MRI images (magnetic resonance imaging). I thought it was so cool that you can combine medicine with engineering. I saw directly how you could help people and not necessarily go to medical school. Once I was in the biomedical engineering program I learned so many more cool options for biomedical engineers!

What do you think is the future of biomedical engineering?
I think the question is what isn't the future of biomedical engineering. I see more robotics and machine learning in surgery and helping people walk, I see electronic devices getting smaller and smarter, I see drugs and imaging systems curing diseases, I see biomedical engineering in space exploration or mind
control of wheelchairs, cars, and limbs.

Who was your favorite teacher?
Mr. Way taught me high school math, physics, and calculus. He really encouraged my interest in those topics and was a fantastic educator.

Want to learn more about Dr. Ashley Darymple and biomedical engineering? Check out the following social media sites and recommended resources.
Dr. Ashley Darymple: Twitter
Other Resources: SHAD Canada ; WISEST


Dr. Lindsey Westover

Lindsey Westover and her Husband

Dr. Lindsey Westover is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Alberta. Her research is focused in biomechanics with specific interests in bone and joint mechanics as well as geometry and shape analysis. As an Assistant Professor, Dr. Westover also teaches in the Mechanical Engineering program focusing on numerical analysis and vibrations courses.

Why do you think engineering is important in the medical field?
I think the clinicians and front-line medical professionals are very good at understanding the problems that they face, and engineers are very good at solving those problems and providing solutions to help both clinicians and patients. The advances in medical technology (and even simple solutions) come from engineers, while the medical professionals keep the work focused and clinically relevant. These two fields working together are able to make meaningful contributions to ultimately improve patient care.

What is your favourite thing about your career?
The freedom to explore and study anything that I am interested in - from specific biomechanics research to new methods of teaching. And taking what I learn in one area and applying it to another area i.e. the cross-over between teaching and research and between projects.

What is your proudest accomplishment?
Achieving success in my career, and producing two amazing kids.


Lucas Graf-Alexiou

Lucas Graf-Alexiou

Lucas was born in London, UK and has lived in Greece, Switzerland and now Canada. He speaks German, Greek, Swiss-German, and English fluently, and is proficient in French. For the past two years, Lucas has been studying Mechanical Biomedical Engineering at the University of Alberta and is having a blast! He enjoys spending time with his friends playing video games, swimming, and playing water polo. He has also been involved with research projects at the UofA since the summer of 2019 and has been able to learn a lot about the field of biomedical engineering.

Why do you think engineering is important in the medical field?
A lot of the tools that are used in either research or in a clinical setting need to be developed by engineers. Additionally, there are certain things about the body that we need to know, like biomechanical analysis and force distributions in the body, to better treat patients on a day to day basis.

What do you think is the future of biomedical engineering?
Improving healthcare by understanding physiology and biomechanics better and get a better idea of how to help people in need.

How would your 10-year-old self react to what you do now?
They would think its really cool that I get to work with some tech and break bones.

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