Second Year Project

Mobile Arm Support

Liya Amanuel

Humanitarian Engineering Major

Second Year Project


I have been on a four-person project team ever since August of 2017. This project team has been part of an organization here at OSU called Design for 90. The project is to create a lightweight mobile arm support for people who suffer from C6 spinal cord injuries. People who have C6 spinal cord injuries deal with fatigue in their arms, keeping them from being able to do simple tasks. Some tasks we tried to assist with are typing, keeping a book elevated for reading, and using a phone. This means that we focused on one plane of motion.


The idea for this project originally came from a BME Capstone project that was done five years ago. Although we didn’t have the original prototype to look at, we still had the old documentation which proved to be very helpful. Our plan to complete this project was to mainly go through a design process the first half of the year. This included concept screening & scoring matrices, sketches, and collaborative discussions among group members. To make sure we were on track, we created both a google spread sheet that listed what needed to be done each meeting and took meeting notes at the end of every meeting. This allowed us to keep a sense of purpose for each meeting and make sure we weren’t wasting any valuable time.


Currently we have assembled our prototype, but have yet had the opportunity to test it with a real patient. We work with BME professor Dr. Ruegsegger and we hope to use his contacts in getting an actual person who can test our prototype. Our prototype is much simpler than the original BME one and it is about $400 dollars less too. It was very exciting for me to see something that we have been sketching for months come to life.


By being a Humanitarian Engineering Scholar, I was able to know about cool opportunities like Design for 90. In addition, I feel like I have grown as an engineer by being on this project team. Also, I grew more comfortable with understanding my role in an engineering group which led me to join another project team last February (The Buckeye Space Launce Initiative). This project is something that also has impressed others when I talk about it. I have incorporated my mobile arm support project into both interviews and career fairs and it is not only such an easy thing to talk about because I am truly passionate, but also something that shows that you are able to create something concrete by applying your engineering knowledge.



Sketch #1

Sketch #2

Me and my fellow Design for 90 members


[ “G.O.A.L.S.” is a place where students write about how their planned, current, and future activities may fit into the Honors & Scholars G.O.A.L.S.: Global Awareness, Original Inquiry, Academic Enrichment, Leadership Development, and Service Engagement. For more information, go to: Delete these instructions and add your own post.

Global Awareness: Students cultivate and develop their appreciation for diversity and each individual’s unique differences. For example, consider course work, study abroad, involvement in cultural organizations or activities, etc .
Original Inquiry: Honors & Scholars students understand the research process by engaging in experiences ranging from in-class scholarly endeavors to creative inquiry projects to independent experiences with top researchers across campus and in the global community. For example, consider research, creative productions or performances, advanced course work, etc.
Academic Enrichment: Honors & Scholars students pursue academic excellence through rigorous curricular experiences beyond the university norm both in and out of the classroom.
Leadership Development: Honors & Scholars students develop leadership skills that can be demonstrated in the classroom, in the community, in their co-curricular activities, and in their future roles in society.
Service Engagement: Honors & Scholars students commit to service to the community.]

Artifact #2

When first coming to OSU I knew that I wanted to be a part of a club and get involved somehow. I quickly learned about BMES and I am now a member. BMES is the Biomedical Engineering Society here and it has biomedical engineering majors from all grades. Through BMES I was able to go to a career expo that was just for people in BMES which was such a contrast from the massive engineering expo that was held one day later. By being in this club I was able to go to something that was strictly for my major which I thought was very beneficial. Also, different events to help bme majors are held. Recently I went to an event that had a panel of professors and we got to ask them about research. Through this event I got to learn exactly what professors are looking for when it comes to students asking for research opportunities. In addition, I have obtained a leadership position through this club. I am on the Mentorship Committee and I am able to create events and give my input on various topics when we meet. The purpose of this is to make the club a more enjoyable experience. In being in BMES during my first semester at OSU, I am able to be a part of something that I enjoy. In addition, I am also able to make friends with people who have the same interests as me.

This is the shirt that was designed for everybody in BMES to have.

This is the shirt that was designed for everybody in BMES to have.


Growing up music has been something that is very important to me. This was because my dad was a musician before he and my mom got married. Ever since I was younger, it is not uncommon to hear my dad singing around the house.  That being said I always had an interest in music. I have played violin for over seven years. Being able to play violin has always been a way for me to take a break from working on strictly academia. In addition, through playing violin I have been able to have some really great experiences. One is being able to go to a Disney Honors Program at Disney World. There, I got to play at an awesome workshop and I got to experience Disney. Another experience violin has brought me is being able to go to Chicago. When in Chicago, I got to visit a violin shop and learn how instruments just like mine are built. Not only trips, I got to be involved in my community through playing violin. In my community, I would volunteer to play at various nursing homes with a small chamber orchestra. I loved doing this because something as small as this made a difference in the community. Playing violin has made me not only a more creative person but also a more involved person no matter the setting.

This is me playing violin in a workshop in Chicago

This is me playing violin in a workshop in Chicago

About Me

My name is Liya Amanuel and I am a Freshman.  My major is Biomedical Engineering.  In addition, I am from Pickerington, Ohio.  I have two younger siblings and a dog.  My parents both went to college for only a semester because they were new immigrants.  Because of this, I hope to be the first person in my family to graduate college.  In high school I was generally involved in a lot of things.  I was president of student council, vice president of NHS, and was in both of my school’s orchestras.  One was just the normal orchestra and the other was an audition only chamber orchestra.  This was a really fun experience for me because I got to play at different “gigs” like nursing homes in our community.  I also did theatre for a little bit at my high school, and I really like musicals.  Over the summer I actually got the opportunity to go on a trip to New York City with my friends.  There, one of the things we got to do was see two Broadway musicals.  First being Les Mis and the other being Hamilton.  Those were experiences I will never forget.


Regarding school, I hope to get a degree in Biomedical Engineering.  To get one from an engineering department as great as the one here at OSU would be amazing.  After that I think I would like to continue my schooling by getting my masters.  In order to do all of this I will need to work hard.  This is not something I or many people for that matter can casually accomplish.  In being a first-year here at OSU I am excited for all of the great opportunities this university has to offer.