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The University of Southampton
Institute for Life Sciences

Research into improving artificial limbs wins national honour for Southampton student

Published: 27 March 2015Origin: Engineering

Final year biomedical engineering PhD student Piotr Laszczak, has won the prestigious 2015 Institute of Engineering and Technology (IET) William James Award for his research to improve the quality of life for people who use artificial legs. He is examining how their artificial limbs can work more effectively.

“Although prosthetic technology has improved greatly over the years, many amputees report problems with poorly fitting connections between their residual limb and the artificial limb. They can be uncomfortable and painful and some people even give up with them and go back to using wheelchairs to get around,” explains Piotr. “Badly fitting sockets could cause serious damage to the amputated leg that results in further amputations.”

Piotr is working on developing a flexible sensor system to assess the effects of both loading and shearing movements between the prosthetic socket and the residual limb, which can be read remotely. His project is supervised by Dr Liudi Jiang, in Engineering and Professor Dan Bader from Health Sciences at the University of Southampton with Dr David Moser and Professor Saeed Zahedi from Chas A Blatchford & Sons Ltd.

The IET William James Award is presented to one PhD student each year whose postgraduate research shows the most potential to contribute toward the development and improvement of biomedical engineering.

After graduation, Piotr intends to continue in postdoctoral research into this area, either within academia or industry.

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