Taylor Zahn '14, Professor Eric Kennedy and Chris DiDomenico '13
Assistant Professor of Biomedical Engineering Eric Kennedy wants to make people safer. So far, so good. His crash-test dummy designs have influenced combat gear in Afghanistan and car design in the U.S. Working alongside him, his engineering students have turned their attention to common childhood injuries and educating the public on preventing them. Other students of his have been part of research at Bucknell to develop prototype medical devices that reduce the invasiveness of surgery, measure bone quality and limit infections.
For Kennedy, the results are manifold. “I love the idea that our students are having an impact and pushing on frontiers of knowledge while in the process of earning their undergraduate degrees,” he says. He also loves that today’s Bucknell students have even more room to move those frontiers than ever before.
“We can give Bucknell engineers an experience that is more than technical knowledge,” says Kennedy, “especially because we are a liberal arts university. We enable them to go into careers in consulting, finance, law and medicine, among many others, because technology is so relevant today.”
Engineering solutions is what Bucknellians do. Students are designing iPhone apps and going on to work at companies such as Google. They are turning trash to biofuel in Bucknell labs, and as alumni they are founding companies that harvest the sun and raise sustainable seafood. Faculty and student ingenuity has brought clean water to impoverished communities in the developing world and unmanned search-and-rescue vehicles to urban centers.
Kennedy anticipates that his students will delve into and solve even more complex problems in the future. “I know what we can do now, with the resources we have. We have never been constrained by our creativity, just certain physical and financial limits. Imagine what we could do if those restrictions were gone.”