Portfolio of projects. Michael Hillman PhD, CEng FIMechE, MIPEM. Rolls Royce (Bristol) Aero Engines. Undergraduate Apprenticeship Technology Engineer in the Installation Aerodynamics Department. Bath Institute of Medical Engineering.
Technology Engineer in the Installation Aerodynamics Department
‘Working alongside those with healthcare problems and disabilities to develop and apply technology to improve the quality of life for all.’
Problem: Ultrasound scanning is regularly used for identification of breast tumours, but only gives a simple 2D image. A tumour is approximately spherical so it is easy to lose much of the 3 dimensional information in a simple 2D scan.
Challenge: To design a scanner to collect and analyse a 3D dataset for better imaging and quantification of breast tumours. Working as part of a multidisciplinary team including medical physicists and a radiologist.
My contribution: Heading the engineering aspects of the project, and all the mechanical design work. Involved in the user trials with patients coming through the breast clinic.
Outcome: Working prototype system, but with much usability development still needed. A patent was granted, but lack of commercial drive from the team to push the exploitation of this patent.
Problem: People with dysphagia (for example because of motor neurone disease) require a restricted volume of fluid for safe swallowing
Concept development: Several complicated solutions were identified involving a combination of valves, and tubes before the concept principles were put together to give a simple and effective solution
Solution: A two part cup delivers a limited volume each time the cup is brought to the lips. Effectively the person is drinking a set volume from the bottom of the cup each time
Prototyping and testing The first prototype used a vacuum formed inner cup within a standard mug. This wasn’t effective as the person drinking had to stretch their neck back to obtain a drink – solved by using an angled cup.
Further prototypes used a combination of vacuum forms, vacuum castings and standard plastic caps. (At the time 3D printing technologies were not readily available)
Outcome: The design has been developed for injection moulding.