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Dr. Jacelon Awarded Collaborative Grant


Dr. Frank Sup and Dr. Krisnamurty both from the College of Engineering and Dr. Cynthia Jacelon from the College of Nursing have been awarded a 5-year grant from the National Science Foundation to fund teams of students comprised of nursing and engineering students working with older adults to improve functional abilities. 

This proposal creates a new collaborative opportunity for undergraduate mechanical engineering and nursing students to partner in their senior capstone courses. The focus of their capstone design projects will be to develop assistive devices for older adults that will help them maintain quality of life and retain independence. In this collaborative approach, teams of students will work with an older adult client from a retirement community to identify challenges they are having with Instrumental Activities of Daily Life (IADLs), which are as essential for independent living. Teams will develop solutions using engineering principles and nursing practices to create usable, economical, and reliable devices that fit into the daily life of the older adults. The collaborative process with older adults as clients will enable the students to gain insight into the user's needs and requirements and develop solutions that are customized for their use. This proposal is motivated by the impending rise in the number of older adults in the United States and their desire to remain independent and lead a fulfilling life. Without assistance with IADLs, they will require increasing levels of support from family or institutions. The capstone design focus will be on developing economical assistive devices that can both help older adults maintain independence and quality of life. The proposal creates a stimulating and collaborative environment for the proposed projects through the synergistic partnership between the faculty and students in the Department of Mechanical Engineering and School of Nursing and the older adults and staff at Mason Wright Retirement Community (Springfield, MA) and the Jewish Geriatric Services (Longmeadow, MA).

Congratulations to Dr. Jacelon and Team!  

Read more from the College of Engineering: "MIE and College of Nursing Receive $125,000 NSF Grant for Senior Capstone Course".