Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster

Indego’s Co-Inventor Says WKU Engineering Prepared Him Well for Career

wku black borderBOWLING GREEN, Ky. (7/25/13) - A co-inventor of the Indego, a lightweight wearable robot, credits WKU’s Department of Engineering with providing the hands-on, real world training to develop cutting edge technologies.

Dr. Ryan Farris, a 2007 mechanical engineering graduate, is Engineering Manager for the Human Motion and Control unit at Cleveland-based Parker Hannifin Corp. Farris earned his Ph.D at Vanderbilt University where he worked with another graduate student and a faculty member to develop the powered exoskeleton now called the Indego.

Farris noted it was his undergraduate work at WKU that prepared him for graduate school and for a career.

“My experience at WKU was a great one all around,” said Farris, who grew up near Cynthiana. “From the freshman year on, we were doing real projects and learning real project management skills.”

Farris said Dr. Chris Byrne and other WKU engineering faculty members brought their professional experience into the classrooms and laboratories and “taught us to be professional engineers.”

“What I observed in Ryan Farris was an ability to seize opportunities to produce results,” said Dr. Byrne, professor of mechanical engineering. “He had many such opportunities and he never failed to impress those he worked with or for. The research opportunities in the mechanical engineering laboratories provided him some visibility to the joys of generating new ideas, information and new devices.”

“At WKU, engineering professors taught you what you were capable of,” Farris said.

For Farris, that meant looking for ways to apply mechanical engineering skills for designing products that would improve the lives of others. “I wanted to think about the future, and the engineering program at WKU was structured to help me do just that,” he said.

“Ryan’s experience at WKU gave him insight and experience in the many facets of research and product development,” Dr. Byrne said. “He added to this education during summer internships where he designed, built and installed manufacturing assembly lines. This furthered his experience and abilities to create new devices and systems. By the time Ryan completed his mechanical engineering degree, he had gained as much experience in engineering as one might expect from several years of full-time work experience.”

During internships at area industries, Farris worked on several projects including the design of industrial automation equipment. “I was an engineer doing real work,” he said. “Those experiences really defined where I was going.”

His first stop after graduating from WKU was as an engineering research assistant at Vanderbilt University. As part of his master’s degree program, Farris worked on a project to develop a clutch/brake mechanism for medical devices. His doctoral research with Dr. Michael Goldfarb and others in Vanderbilt’s Center for Intelligent Mechatronics resulted in the Indego.

The Indego allows individuals with severe spinal cord injury to walk and enhances rehabilitation for people who have suffered a stroke. Parker Hannifin has licensed the technology and is working to further develop and test the system before a commercial launch of the product.

Farris expects to spend the next few years working to bring the Indego to market and hopes that thousands of individuals with walking impairments will soon be aided by this technology and others that are being developed by Parker’s Human Motion and Control unit.

“Ryan’s time at WKU was one of productivity and growth,” Dr. Byrne said. “While he may not have fully realized it at the time, his trajectory was one that was destined for advanced study leading to a position where he could contribute at the highest levels. He is now an international leader in robotic systems for augmenting human movement. His passion for creating new ideas and devices was fostered while at WKU and has led him to a rewarding career.”

Read more about the Indego technology at www.indego.com.

SurfKY News
Information provided by WKU News

© Copyright 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, or rewritten without permission. SurfKY News encourages you to share this story by using one of the social media links below.

In Other News...

Major Muhlenberg Road Projects Found in Two-Year Road Plan

FRANKFORT, Ky. (4/17/14) — Funding to widen and straighten two roads in Muhlenberg County near the West… Read More

Watson Family Tragedy Inspires Muhlenberg Safety Awareness Day

GREENVILLE, Ky. (4/17/14) — The Muhlenberg County Safety Task Force will sponsor a Safety Awareness Day Saturday, April… Read More

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

April 16, 2014 18909

UPDATE- Sheriff's Office Following Leads…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter
April 14, 2014 6350

U.S. Bank Hanson on Lockdown Due to Bomb…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
April 14, 2014 5259

Pedestrian Killed During Two Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Chris E. King
April 17, 2014 3434

KSP Nabs St. Charles Man Wanted by U.S.…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 15, 2014 3039

Police Searching for Sureway's 'Baby…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

April 14, 2014 5259

Pedestrian Killed During Two Vehicle…

in Top Stories by Chris E. King
April 17, 2014 3434

KSP Nabs St. Charles Man Wanted by U.S.…

in Top Stories by Trooper Stu Recke
April 15, 2014 3039

Police Searching for Sureway's 'Baby…

in Top Stories by Taylor Riley, SurfKY News Reporter
April 15, 2014 2699

Multi-Agency Investigation Leads to Drug…

in Top Stories by Lori Blakeley
April 15, 2014 1045

State Approves $500K for Hopkins Archery…

in Top Stories by Rebecca Hanchett

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

April 14, 2014 2060

Grow Garden Grow - Spring Has Sprung

in News by Barbara Cecil Russ
April 15, 2014 1596

Owensboro Police Investigate Auto Accident

in News by Michael Hathaway
April 15, 2014 1264

Owensboro Parks Offers Tennis Lessons

in News by Britni Bunn
April 15, 2014 882

Happenings and Meetings Owensboro

in News by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News
April 14, 2014 669

Owensboro Health Hosts Tours for…

in Top Stories by Dennis Beard, SurfKY News

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

April 16, 2014 2896

Sheriff's Deputies Nab Central City…

in Top Stories by Sheriff Curtis McGehee
April 14, 2014 2516

MCC Staff Shares Good News with…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 15, 2014 1898

'Walk Right Back' An Everly Brother's…

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter
April 15, 2014 1734

Local MCHS Students Train at Job Corps

in Top Stories by Karen Robinson
April 15, 2014 1413

Thumbpickers Unite at Mose Rager Day

in Top Stories by Paul McRee, SurfKY News Reporter

SurfKY News Group, Inc. Central Office & Printing Division
1125 Nebo Rd.  •  Madisonville, KY 42431  •  270.452.2249 (fax)
Main Number: 270.452.2727 (phone)  •  Printing Division Direct Line: 270.821.8600 (phone)

SurfKY Owensboro News Bureau
920 Frederica St. / Suite 210  •  Owensboro, KY 42301  •  270.683-8060 (phone)


Contact a member of our staff: www.surfky.com/contact
Copyright © 2014 SurfKY News Group, Inc.  •  Terms of Use  •  Site Map

social 06social 21social 22social 04social 03