Engineering Critical Care Team

Background: The work environment for Anesthesiologists in the surgical theater, ICU and patient transport is little changed for decades. Significant improvements can be made in patient safety, ergonomics and work flow for anesthesiologists, technicians and nurses. There are a number of potential projects which individually can significantly improve the environment for anesthesiologists and other providers resulting in improving the standard of patient care.


  1. Identify and characterize issues related to patient safety, personnel safety, ergonomics, efficiency, and cost in the operating room, recovery room and critical care unit, with particular emphasis on areas populated by Anesthesiology.
  2. Identify safety and efficiency issues in patient transport between and among various hospital theatres.
  3. Prioritize findings and conceive, characterize, design, prototype and implement improvements and remedies representing positive step changes in the standard of patient care.
  4. Where warranted, address and resolve regulatory issues related to each project.

Key Elements: In-Person Observation in the Health Care Space, Engineering Design, CAD/CAM, Computer Modeling, Rapid Prototyping, Ergonomics, Aesthetic Design Elements, Fabrication Methodologies, Regulatory, Market Analysis, New Product Development, Intellectual Property, Project Management.


  • Define unmet user needs for patient and personnel safety, ergonomics, efficiency, and cost
  • Establish prioritized, specific projects based on identified unmet needs
  • Develop a design brief and project scope, deliverables and milestones
  • Based on design research develop engineering design specifications
  • Develop and refine the concept, leading to an engineering design
  • Build prototypes and evaluate on the bench
  • Conduct market analysis and develop strategies for IP, Regulatory and the eventual business

Team Advisors: Bennett Ward PhD (Director Project Outreach, Chemical and Life Sciences Engineering), Bruce Spiess, MD (Anesthesiology), Franklin Bost (School of Engineering)

Project Partner and Sponsor: The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust

Majors / Background: Biomedical Engineering, Mechnical and Nuclear Engineering, Anesthesiology, Surgery, Emergency Medicine, Nursing, Business (innovation and product development)

Contact:  Professor Ben Ward (