Dr. Rory Cooper and colleagues at the 2022 IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society conference in Glasgow, Scotland.
VA researcher Dr. Rory Cooper has received the 2022 IEEE Biomedical Engineering Award. The award was presented at the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society conference in Glasgow, Scotland, July 11-15. Cooper was recognized for "extensive contributions to wheelchair technology that have expanded mobility and reduced secondary injuries for millions of people with disabilities."
Cooper is director and founder of the Human Engineering Research Laboratory, a collaboration between VA and the University of Pittsburgh. He is also assistant vice chancellor of research at the University of Pittsburgh. HERL is noted for developing cutting-edge technologies to help Veterans and others with disabilities to live fuller lives.
The research team at HERL holds patents on 25 innovations in wheelchair designs. Current research projects at HERL include assistive robotic manipulators, MEBot, microelectrode brain-machine interfaces, transfer biomechanics, and virtual reality, among others.
"Research equipment that Dr. Cooper has designed is being used in nearly 100 laboratories and training facilities around the world," noted Dr. Brad Dicianno, chief operating officer and medical director for HERL.
A wheelchair user himself, Cooper has devoted his professional career to improving the lives of people with disabilities. He and his team have dedicated themselves to designing and building new technologies to help make the world more inclusive for wheelchair users.
"It was an honor to be among colleagues, friends, and family to receive the IEEE 'Field Medal' for Biomedical Engineering," said Cooper. "This was only possible with the support of excellent colleagues and collaborators, over decades, who are dedicated to working with people with disabilities to make the world a better place."
The IEEE is an international organization dedicated to advancing innovation and technological excellence for the benefit of humanity. Pronounced "Eye-triple-E," IEEE stands for the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers. It is the world's largest technical professional organization, with over 409,000 members in more than 160 countries. IEEE's roots go back to 1884 when electricity began to exert its influence in society.