Principal Investigator Stephen Sprigle, PhD, PT
Stephen Sprigle is a Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology with appointments in Bioengineering, Industrial Design and the George W. Woodruff School of Mechanical Engineering.A biomedical engineer with a license in physical therapy, Sprigle directs the Rehabilitation Engineering and Applied Research Lab (REARLab), which focuses on applied disability research and development. The REARLab’s research interests include the biomechanics of wheelchair seating and posture, pressure ulcer prevention, and manual wheelchair propulsion. Its development activities include standardized wheelchair and cushion testing and the design of assistive and diagnostic technologies. Sprigle teaches design-related classes in both the Schools of Industrial Design and Mechanical Engineering.
Sharon Sonenblum, PhD
Sharon Sonenblum is a Principal Research Scientist in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech. Dr. Sonenblum has been studying wheelchair seating and mobility for over a decade. Her work focuses on two primary areas: the use of assistive technology in everyday life, and tissue health and pressure injury prevention. Dr. Sonenblum has investigated how people use their power tilt-in-space wheelchairs, manual wheelchairs, and more recently their power adjustable seat height wheelchairs in their everyday lives. Dr. Sonenblum’s work on tissue health has investigated tissue response to loading and weight shifts, and the role of weight shift behaviors in pressure injury development. Contact me at email@example.com.
Yogesh Deshpande, MS
Yogesh Deshpande is a Research Engineer in the School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech. Yogesh has worked on developing standardized tests to evaluate pressure redistribution performance of wheelchair cushions under load, using pressure and deformation measurements in compliant gel models. These novel tests are meant to help manufacturers rate their cushion’s performance, and help clinicians and wheelchair users make informed decisions about cushion selection and use. His current research focusses on designing and testing activity trackers and mobile apps to better inform wheelchair users of their in-seat activity and help prevent pressure injuries. He also works with the wheelchair-propelling robot (the AMPS) to study how frame design and energy-dissipating components can affect vibrations experienced by a wheelchair user.
Jacob Misch, PhD
Jacob Misch is a post-doctoral researcher through the School of Mechanical Engineering at Georgia Tech. His current research utilizes the Anatomical Model Propulsion System wheelchair-propelling robot to investigate how changes in the manual wheelchair configurations can influence the energetic cost of propulsion. The long-term goal of this research is to empower manual wheelchair users with knowledge of the compromises between configurations to help them make more optimal equipment selections. A portfolio of his work can be seen on his website.