The kind of experience engineering students get at CWRU

Two members of a film crew recording two CWRU students as they showcase their creation

I have a feeling that not only do you like to create and innovate, you want to make the world a better place like Case Western Reserve University engineering undergraduates Myles Smith, Amanda Duban, Maxwell Rollins and Grant Boone.

They recently sat down with NBC News to discuss a special project they worked on with Cleveland resident Aurelian Barber.


Man sitting in a wheelchair with a motorized arm for a swiveling gimbal, smiling at camera


Barber [pictured here] is a photographer and videographer. He has limited use of his hands, which can make getting a steady shot challenging.

While visiting Sears think[box], the largest open-access makerspace at any university in the U.S., Barber discussed his desire to create something that would help him collect shots more quickly and easily.

Seeing the chance to create something impactful while putting their engineering skills and knowledge to the test, Myles, Amanda, Maxwell, Grant and other students designed and built an attachment for Barber’s wheelchair: a motorized arm for a swiveling gimbal. 
This device allows Barber to take photos at a variety of angles and perspectives—something he said he always dreamed about! That’s the kind of meaningful work you do at CWRU.

Myles, a fourth-year majoring in mechanical and aerospace engineering and minoring in Chinese, relished the opportunity to use his design and manufacturing skills to help Barber take photos with ease. “This project was a great opportunity to use my interests to make someone’s life better,” Myles said.

Andrew Rollins, professor of biomedical engineering and medicine, said the project was an ideal example of human-centered design. “This kind of project gives the students the kind of tangible experience they can’t get in class, including dealing with uncertainty and setbacks. It’s also very rewarding for them to help someone in a very direct way," he said. 

That’s the kind of experience that you have here at CWRU.