CEAS PhD Student Receives Best Presenter Award at Biomaterials Day

By:        Staci Jones
Date:    November 1, 2016 
            Edited March 22, 2017

Rigwed Tatu, CEAS PhD biomedical engineering student, won the SFB Day Best Presenter Award for his research aimed at preventing post-natal complications through the improvement of fetal surgery.

Rigwed Tatu (second from right) receives SFB Day Event's Best Presenter Award.

Rigwed Tatu (second from right) receives SFB Day Event's Best Presenter Award.

UC College of Engineering and Applied Science (CEAS) biomedical engineering PhD student, Rigwed Tatu, has recently won the best presenter award at the Society for Biomaterials (SFB) Day Event held at Case Western Reserve University.

SFB Day Event welcomed 28 different presentations from universities around the mid-western region. The event featured exhibits, student presenters, student poster sessions, panel discussions, guest lecturers and networking opportunities. Anyone working in a biomaterials related field could submit an abstract for a poster or podium presentation and was eligible to display their research upon acceptance.

This year’s SFB Day Event was Tatu’s first time participating in an event at such capacity. He credits his decision to submit his work to his UC collaborations and mentors, “my mentors and guides at UC and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center (CHMC) were confident about the project idea and potential impact, which made them encourage my application for a podium presentation.”

Tatu states that his PhD project is a collaboration between Professor Chia-Ying Lin’s Structural Tissue Evaluation and Engineering Laboratories (STEEL) group, and Dr. Jose Peiro’s Fetal Surgery group at CCHMC which he calls “a beautiful amalgamation of biomaterials and clinical and surgical research.”

The research presentation educated the audience on crucial neural defects occurring in neonates. Tatu states that he is “working on a noble cause of improving fetal surgery that will potentially have a positive impact on the efficacy of fetal surgery outcomes, which would influence the life of an unborn child.”

Tatu believes that his team in UC CEAS biomedical Engineering and at CCHMC helped to make his research stand out amongst competitors, “My team at UC Biomedical Engineering and CCHMC has provided a great opportunity to carry out cutting-edge research that has a targeted application, which can positively impact lives.”

“During my presentation, I focused the first few slides on explaining the surgical problem in detail, which really made the audience develop interest in the research topic,” Tatu stated when explaining another reason his research stood out, “Before I went on to discuss the relevant data, I made sure everyone understood exactly what we are attempting to achieve, by using visual aids such as videos and animations.”

Tatu’s research is directed to preventing post-natal (post-birth) complications such as paralysis below the spine and urinary and sexual complications by working on developing a 'smart patch' implant to perform multiple functions on implantation at the back of the fetus (inside the mother's womb). He claims “the noble intention of our research effort surely contributed to the project novelty.”

On behalf of College of Engineering and Applied Science, congratulations to Rigwed Tatu on your best presenter award at the 2016 SFB Biomaterials Day Event!