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Biomedical engineering student recognized as IEEE's 'New Face of Engineering'

WASHINGTON (17 March 2009) -- Guruprasad Madhavan is working on neuromuscular stimulation approaches that may help prevent osteoporosis, heart failure and mild cognitive impairment -- all related to low blood pressure.

Madhavan's research is a major reason why he was selected the IEEE/IEEE-USA's 2009 "New Face of Engineering."

"My energy to perform better has multiplied, and so has my responsibility to better communicate engineering," Madhavan said after being selected.

The New Faces of Engineering is sponsored by the National Engineers Week Foundation, a coalition of engineering societies, major corporations and government agencies. The program highlights the vitality, diversity and rich contributions of engineers under 30.

Each engineering society's top choice must hold an engineering degree, be employed as an engineer from two to five years, and have worked with projects that significantly affect public welfare or further professional development and growth.

Madhavan is one of 14 engineers recognized for this international honor. They were featured in a full-page ad that ran in USA Today on 16 February.

Madhavan, 29, is completing his doctoral degree in biomedical engineering at Binghamton University, State University of New York. His research is focused toward non-invasively and non-pharmacologically stimulating the calf muscle pump -- also referred to as the "second heart" -- to enhance circulation.

The contractions of calf muscles help in propelling deoxygenated blood back to the heart against gravity. External stimulation of the lower leg musculature could help enhance venous return and cardiovascular recirculation of oxygen-rich blood.

Madhavan was born in a village in Tamil Nadu, a state in southern India. He became the first person in his family's history to earn an engineering degree when he received his bachelor's (honors with distinction) in instrumentation and control engineering from the University of Madras (India) in 2001. He added a master's degree in biomedical engineering from Stony Brook (N.Y.) University in 2002 and an MBA in leadership and healthcare management from Binghamton in 2007. He has also worked in the medical device industry as a research scientist.

In November 2007, Madhavan became the first person in the United States to receive the United Kingdom's Institute of Engineering and Technology's Mike Sargeant Career Achievement Award. The honor is given to the young professional deemed to have made the most significant career progress over a number of years. Madhavan, who received the award in London, was recognized for his medical device research.

Last fall Madhavan was selected for a science, technology and economic policy fellowship at the National Academies in Washington. He believes that this experience has helped prepare him for a career in public policy related to economic development and sustainability issues.

Madhavan is also senior editor of "Career Development in Bioengineering and Biotechnology" (Springer, 2008), a volume designed to introduce students, professionals and the public to the diverse career and sustainable-development opportunities within bioengineering, biotechnology and related fields.

An ad hoc committee of IEEE members Paul Kostek of Seattle; Sarah Rovito of Arlington, Va.; Abby Vogel of Atlanta; and Terry Malkinson of Calgary, Alberta, Canada, selected Madhavan as the IEEE/IEEE-USA's New Face.


Contact: Chris McManes

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