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.
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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.