UWE Senior Lecturer and Researcher in Mechatronics, Dr Appolinaire Etoundi, recently delivered a fantastic talk for the Association for Science Education, engaging local teachers and STEM educators with the story of his engineering pathway and his research into bio-inspired prosthetic joints for amputees.
Engineers above all else are problem-solvers, and there are a lot of problems these days that we have to face.
In his talk, Appolinaire spoke about his route into engineering and how his passion started at an early age with a love for Kinder Surprise chocolate eggs and the small self-assembly toys found inside. A great reminder that children’s scientific curiosity should be nurtured form an early age!
Appolinaire also shared his career pathway, starting with his study of mechanical engineering and leading to his research combining mechanical engineering and robotics at the Bristol Robotics Laboratory. He spoke about a chance meeting with Rio Paralympic Triathlon gold medal winner Andy Lewis, and how this inspired him to change his research focus to robotic rehabilitation devices such as prosthetic joints and limbs.
Currently in the UK there are 5-6000 major limb amputations every year.
This area of Appolinaire’s research is heavily inspired by systems found in nature and these bio-inspired robotics have the potential to greatly improve the efficiency of current rehabilitation/prosthetic devices and improve the lives of people around the world.
Appolinaire’s passion for his research and how it can be of real benefit to people is truly inspiring. You can watch the full talk here: