Monday, June 1, 2015

About Me!

Hi my name is Grace Deetjen and I love life!  A native of the Chicago suburbs, I'm excited for the chance to get out of the Midwest as a part of the CCEFP REU, which I learned makes me technically an REU. I wish I could've blogged earlier, but for some reason the blog didn't let me log in, so now you're getting the introduction to me, just a bit late.

I'm a senior in bioengineering at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. For two years, I've been researching in Dr. Hsiao-Wecksler's Human Dynamics and Controls Lab, which is in the Department of Mechanical Science and Engineering. At one point in time, it would've been accurate to call myself a MechSE-wannabe, but now I'm quite pleased with my major and the position it's giving me to move forward in life.

I hope to become a prosthetist/orthotist, somebody who creates prostheses (artificial limbs) and orthoses (external braces) to help people live more accessible, active lives despite a disability or injury. This will be a two-year graduate program, but I anticipate doing research in prosthetics in the future, especially as a result of the upcoming research in the REU with control systems.

I'm working with Dr. Wayne Book at Georgia Tech (wow, I'm headed to the South!) on a project called the Patient Transfer Device. This hydraulic lift will be able to move patients in home settings easily from a bed to a wheelchair, safely, without the need for multiple nurses to assist in lifting. I'm excited for the research and can't wait to learn and accomplish a lot!

Finally, a bit more about me. I'm involved in Bridges, a Christian campus ministry at my school, specifically tailored to international students. I also love rock climbing, baking, and biking. Last summer, I biked across the country with 19 other students to raise funds and awareness for cancer research and patient support services. Getting involved with Illini 4000 was definitely one of the best decisions I've ever made in my life, and if time and money were infinite, I would spend the rest of my life biking across countries all over the world. But alas, there's more to life than riding bikes... maybe!

Please note the bicycle earrings ;)

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