Pick Your Community: | Hopkins | Muhlenberg | Daviess | Christian | Fayette | Henderson | Lakes | McCracken | Warren | Webster
Davis Motor Sales banner ad

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.

Most Read This Week (Site-Wide)

August 17, 2014 3790

Greenville Police Conducting Traffic…

in Top Stories by Wes Miller
August 16, 2014 3734

Pogue's Automotive Annual Picnic Brings…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 18, 2014 3388

Man Injured in Early Morning WKP Accident

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
August 18, 2014 3085

Owensboro Board of Commissioners…

in News by Beth Cecil
August 18, 2014 2928

Unlawful Solicitation

in News by Sgt. J.D. Winkler

Most Read Stories from Hopkins County

August 20, 2014 2833

Park Avenue Trespass Call Leads to…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
August 18, 2014 2536

Madisonville Man Charged for Shoplifting,…

in Top Stories by Madisonville Police Department
August 16, 2014 1439

Non-Partisan Offices Deadline Passes -…

in Top Stories by Keenan Ratliff
August 18, 2014 1321

Madisonville Firefighters Recognized for…

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
August 16, 2014 1266

Madisonville Police Conducting Sobriety…

in Top Stories by Lt. Charles Young II

Most Read Stories from Owensboro

August 18, 2014 3085

Owensboro Board of Commissioners…

in News by Beth Cecil
August 18, 2014 2928

Unlawful Solicitation

in News by Sgt. J.D. Winkler
August 18, 2014 2867

RiverArtes Opening at OMFA

in News by Owensboro Museum of Fine Art
August 19, 2014 2304

Free Arthritis Exercise Program will be…

in News by Woody Maglinger
August 19, 2014 2013

Municipal Art Collection on Exhibit at…

in News by Mary Bryan Hood

Most Read Stories from Muhlenberg County

August 17, 2014 3790

Greenville Police Conducting Traffic…

in Top Stories by Wes Miller
August 16, 2014 3734

Pogue's Automotive Annual Picnic Brings…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 18, 2014 3388

Man Injured in Early Morning WKP Accident

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director
August 18, 2014 2687

Luke's Flea Market Vendors' Home Away…

in Top Stories by Charles W. Riley II, SurfKY News
August 18, 2014 2554

'How Dry I Was'

in Top Stories by Rita Dukes Smith, SurfKY News Director

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 03social 04social 22social 21social 06