Fox is focused on developing a CT scanner, traditionally designed for hospitals, that’s smaller and lighter, while Bil is overseeing integrating the machine into a helicopter or fixed wing plane together with medical professionals and other medical equipment.
Bil said fitting heavy and delicate medical equipment on an aircraft was a significant engineering challenge.
“This equipment was not designed to fly and will be subjected to vibration, temperature variations and g-loads,” he said.
“We also need to make sure that there is room for the patient and paramedics and doctors can access them from all around.”
Bil said the team was collaborating with industry partners.
“On our specific aspect of the project, we’re working with a leading multi-national imaging vendor who manufacture CT scanners, and Five Rings Aerospace, an aerospace consultancy firm with expertise in airframe modifications for medical operations and approved to provide design and certification support,” he said.
Fox, the Biomedical, Embedded System and Signal Processing Engineering discipline leader, said she had never worked with such a diverse team.
“Solving such a complex problem like early stroke detection and treatment within the so called ‘golden hour’ can’t be done by a single person, service, hospital or university,” she said.
“This requires a team of multidisciplinary experts - from medical professionals like neurologists, radiologists and paramedics to engineers from aerospace, structural, biomedical and licensed certification disciplines and, of course, industry - who are united for a common outcome.”
Story: Amelia Harris