As an acronym, it's what we do: Endeavors to Move People Onward With Engineered Results. As a word, it's why we do it: EMPOWER.
A student-run, student-based organization, EMPOWER aims to improve the quality of life for the people we work with. We are privileged to gain hands-on experience with engineering design projects while empowering our challengers. In addition to design projects, our student organization provides technical resources and education to student members in preparation for post-graduation innovative work.
Check out our Fall Quarter 2021 Newsletter to find out more!
QUARTERLY DESIGN PROJECTS
Quarterly Design Projects (QDPs) occur every Fall and Spring quarters and are open to students of all years and majors. Our members are split into multidisciplinary teams of 5-8 students and are challenged to design and prototype a solution to a biomedical issue.
The QDP attracts 70-100 participants each quarter with 10-16 teams. Teams meet during our general meetings, Tuesday’s 6:10-7:00pm, and present their solutions at the end of the quarter. The winning team of the Fall QDP has the opportunity to continue their project throughout the rest of the year as a Formal Design Project.
FORMAL DESIGN PROJECTS
Year-long Formal Design Projects (FDP) aim to create a personalized device that improves the quality of life of a disabled community member. Teams consist of one team lead and 4-7 team members, selected through an application and interview process. Students of all majors and experience levels are welcome to apply.
LOWER LIMB EXOSKELETON PROJECT
Cybathlon is an international biotechnology competition for individuals who use power-assisted prosthetic and assistive devices. One of the events at the Cybathlon is the Powered Exoskeleton Race for individuals with spinal cord injuries who use exoskeleton suits to walk and navigate obstacles.
Our goal with LLEAP is to work towards developing an exoskeleton for our challenger, Tamar De Leon (pictured here), that he can use to compete in this competition one day. Tamar is a local student at Cuesta College in San Luis Obispo studying business and he was born with quadriplegic cerebral palsy. Despite his challenges, Tamar is very motivated to succeed in life and has become a key part of the team developing this device.
This project is much larger than any we have undertaken in past, so we have broken the team into three groups: Controls, Ankles & Knees, and Hips & Back. This project is open to members of all years and majors who wish to contribute and join one of these groups.
Cal Poly EMPOWER Student Association is run by the Executive Board and supporting officers to ensure a meaningful experience for student members and challengers. By overseeing and managing design projects, workshops, and outreach events, officers provide necessary supplies and expertise to foster student growth and support project success.
Check out our Technical Resources Folder! Included are resources to help with writing Resumes and Cover Letters, previous Workshops that we've hosted and more! You can also sign up for a Resume and/or Cover Letter review with one of our officers over Zoom to prepare for the Career Fair and FDP Interviews. We also have a Google Form where you can suggest new resources that you'd like access to.
Technical Resources Folder
Submit your resume to our resume bank, which we will share with our sponsors and industry contacts!
On President’s Day weekend this year our student association along with the Medical Design Club, Biomedical Engineering Society, and Engineering World Health, hosted the first Cal Poly Biomedical Make-a-Thon in the TECHE Lab. Over 50 participants worked in teams for 30 hours to design and prototype an affordable prosthetic arm kit that could be sent to developing countries. Below is a clip of teams finishing up their prototypes in the lab about 2 hours before presenting to our judges. The winning team is pictured to the left.