I worked in Mexico City for a year before coming to the UK. I used to work in the National Institute of Rehabilitation developing technology trying to satisfy medical needs. After completing my PhD, I started working at the University of Strathclyde as a Researcher (and I Looooooove it!)
I am a Research Associate at the Biomedical Engineering Department in the University of Strathclyde
University of Strathclyde
I am a friendly, proactive engineer trying to make a difference in others’ lives through technology (like hand prosthetics).
I am a very friendly and active Mexican Biomedical Engineer. I live with my partner and my 3 indoor cats in Glasgow (where I came to study my PhD over 6 years ago). I am vegan, love running and doing some yoga whenever I get the chance. I love cooking, having my friends around for dinner and loooove movies too.
I am really keen on helping people around me in every way I can, even if it’s just chatting to them.
I research new ways that your body could connect to a machine in order to improve driving prosthetic hands
My research area is prosthetics (an artificial device that replaces a body part, e.g. prosthetic hand, prosthetic leg, prosthetic hip) and orthotics (an external device used to modify the structure and function of our body, e.g. crouches, hand brace, knee brace, wrist brace).
From one side, the prosthetic side, I am currently researching different ways that our body could communicate with the device (also known as brain machine or brain computer interfaces) so that the amputee (in this case) could drive their artificial hand easier, as currently, they need to learn again how to move their new hand. I do this by acquiring the muscle activity with some electrodes, studying these signals, and trying to understand what happens with certain hand movements.
On the orthotic side, I am currently developing a new wrist hand orthosis that will help people with wrist and hand problems to continue with common daily activities. This development has been from computational simulation, simulation of different materials, as well as clinical trials where we ask common users to test them and gives us feedback.
I love the human body and its complexity fascinates me, the more I learn about it, the more I am sure we know nothing about!
My Typical Day
I don’t have two days the same! My days are active, challenging, sometimes confusing, but most of the times fun.
I try my best to go for a run every day before work. I wake up at 5:30am and although this might seem crazy when I start work at 9am, it really does give me the buzz to tackle all my different tasks.
I am involved in teaching undergraduates from different courses: Biomedical Engineering, Sports Engineering, Speech and Language Pathology and Prosthetists and Orthotists. Although I teach different things to all of these (varies from anatomy and physiology, prosthetics all the way to health statistics, yippee!) I love my students, they always ask incredible questions which makes having to think on my feet.
Whenever I’m not teaching, I have a load of different things that I do: I do testing on participants where I get them to do some activities and I measure their muscle activity, OR I look into the muscle signals that I have, trying to understand how our body (brain and muscles) work, OR write new research for my potential future students (maybe like you??) , OR I’m having coffee with colleagues to talk about our current sufferings and complain about life (yes! I still do that!).
There are no two days the same, there is always something exciting going on!
What I'd do with the money
I would spend it on hands-on public engagement for prosthetics/orthotics demonstration
I would love to have the opportunity for students to engage with prosthetics and orthotics. Making sure they understand what they are, and why it is so important for professionals like me to carry on doing our job. I would love if kids could actually touch them, try them, and have a feel for what they do and how they currently work (and realise the looong way we still have ahead of us!).
How would you describe yourself in 3 words?
Engaging, friendly and active.
What's the best thing you've done in your career?
Inspire my students
Were you ever in trouble at school?
If you weren't doing this job, what would you choose instead?
A Veterinarian Surgeon
Who is your favourite singer or band?
My cat at 3am
What's your favourite food?
Persian food! all of it!!!
What is the most fun thing you've done?
Took 150 teenagers camping, and I was 1 of the 3 ‘responsible adults’… I was 19 years old! So it was 153 teenagers having a lot of fun!
Tell us a joke.
A recent scientific study showed that out of 2,293,618,367 people, 94% are too lazy to actually read that number.