Senior design team attends Rice 360 Design Competition in Houston

BME Senior Design Team #2: Sarah McGee, Katelyn Houlihan, Courtney Mulry, Cailah Carroll, Celine Agnes, Rosalie Bordett, Dr. Bin Feng

Because of the my OUR Travel Award, the entire senior design team was able to travel to Houston to attend the conference. The money helped us to represent UConn and for us to gain valuable feedback regarding our prototype. We got the opportunity to interact with amazing researchers and hear from Tore Laerdal who was the keynote speaker at the global health technology conference. His organization is huge increasing products that promote KMC in third world and developing countries. We got to hear his thoughts on our project. Overall this conference really helped to shape me into a more confident individual and helped us immensely with designing the future of our project.

Project Summary


This project was our biomedical engineering senior design project. Through this project we hoped to create a device that would accurately determine and measure the amount of skin contact and time that a mother has with their newborn baby. The client wanted the device to begin measuring time when contact was initiated and stopped recording when the contact is broken. The goal was for him to bring the device to India to test and determine the amount of skin contact and time that is required for improvements in the baby’s health. The researchers currently know that kangaroo mother care is effective but they don’t know how much time is actually effective. In order to combat this problem the team used a raspberry pi and arduino along with a lily pad temperature sensor and capacitive touch hat in order to create a device that would do this. The team applied to and got selected as one of the top 20 teams internationally in the Global Health Technologies Competition and got invited to come down to Houston to present. The team is now in the process of creating a new prototype that will do the same and measure the contact but the results will be transmitted wirelessly to an app on the phone. The team is extremely proud of all the work they have accomplished this year and is very thankful to the OUR grant for helping them to begin designing the new prototype by allowing us to go to Houston and speak to clinicians and nurses.