OUR TEAM

Student volunteers assembling a Victoria Hand, 2018

We are a dedicated team of engineers, designers, and volunteers based in Victoria, Canada, at the University of Victoria. The Victoria Hand Project (VHP) is a not-for-profit organization, with a mission to provide upper-limb prosthesis to persons in the developing world.

EXECUTIVE MEMBERS

Nick Dechev, Ph.D, P.Eng

Executive Director

As leader of the Victoria Hand Project, Nick is involved primarily on project direction/vision, establishment of international partnerships, organization and project management, fundraising, and contract and document preparation.

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Michael Peirone, B.Eng, EIT.

Chief Operating Officer

Michael worked on the project through his undergraduate degree and completed two internships with VHP. Michael now helps with the day-to-day operations of VHP, engineering design and communicating with the international partners.

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Joshua Coutts, B.Eng

Lead Designer

Josh is the lead designer for the VHP team, responsible for various products including the Victoria Hand.

Aislinn Sirk, B.Sc, Ph.D, J.D.

Aislinn Sirk is involved in several aspects of VHP including advising, policy and contract review, fundraising, grant review, social media and marketing, and intellectual property.

Jerome Etwaroo, B.Eng, P.Eng

Jerome is an advisor to the Victoria Hand Project, and serves on the board of Directors. He is an industrial liaison officer and contracts manager at UVic.

Nigel Livingston, Ph.D

Nigel is an advisor to the Victoria Hand Project, and serves on the board of Directors. He is a Professor at UVic, and is based in the School of Public Health and Social Policy.

ADVISORY MEMBERS

Justine Trubey

Working with a nonprofit in Cambodia, as CEO of LimbForge, and as a strategic adviser to VHP, she believes purpose-driven technology can help make the world a little better place. 

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Andreas Bastian

Andreas is a designer, engineer, and artist who develops and applies cutting edge 3D printing technologies. He is a Founder and Technology Advisory Board Chair of LimbForge. 

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ENGINEERING DESIGN TEAM

Kelly Knights, B.Eng, EIT.

Projects: Force Doubler, Children's Hand Testing, V300 Testing

Kelly began working for VHP full time in 2020 after volunteering with the team for five years during her undergraduate degree.

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Derek Bell, B.Eng.

Projects: Transhumeral System, Custom Sockets, Children's Hand

Derek completed two 4-month co-op terms with VHP. He has collaboratively designed and tested the trans-humeral socket system and child’s hand devices.

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Co-op Students / Notable Projects

Kim Arklie

Projects: PAW, V300 Children's Hand

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Kim is a fourth year Mechanical Engineering student at the University of Victoria and has been volunteering with the Victoria Hand Project since 2019.

Maggie Robinson

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Maggie is a fourth year Biomedical Engineering student at the University of Victoria, also pursuing a business minor. She is currently on co-op with VHP.

Projects: V300 Half 20 Wrist, Hand Actuator

Asees Kaur

Projects: Tensile strengths of 3D printed parts under different forms of sterilization

Asees Kaur is a 3rd Year Mechanical engineering student, she began volunteering in 2019, pursued part of her co-op term in 2020, and is currently conducting her work study at VHP.

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James Ngara

Projects: Initiated expansion to Kenya and connected VHP to contacts in country

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James has been involved with assembling 3D printed hand parts, 3d scanning and 3D modeling scanned molds in preparation for printing. He also initiated the project in Kenya.

Nicholas Whyte, B.Eng, M.Eng

Projects: Harness, VC200, Trans-humeral System, Children's Hand

Nick made significant contributions to the design of the VC200 Victoria Hand, Trans-humeral system and led the design of the children's hand.

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Alex Burden, B.Eng

Projects: Snap-Lock Wrist

Alex is a graduate from UVic's biomedical engineering program. In his time as a volunteer he conducted design iterations on the Victoria Hand's snap-lock wrist and helped with assembly.

Alexandra Malinowski, B.Sc

Alexandra began volunteering with the project in September 2016 and started a co-op work term under Dr. Dechev in Summer 2017. She was involved in hand assembly, development of assembly manuals and videos, grant research and website design. 

Jason Bennett

Projects: Converting LimbForge platform from Ruby on Rails to Java Script

Jason took on the major task of making updates to the LimbForge platform and transitioning it from Ruby on Rails to Java Script.

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Joelle Lejay, B.Eng

Joelle is a recent UVic electrical engineering graduate. Being able to combine both her engineering and medical interests within a friendly and inclusive environment to help better peoples’ lives is what attracted her to the Victoria Hand Project. Aside from pursuing electrical engineering, she enjoys playing music, traveling and hiking.

Sina Valizadeh, B.Eng

Sina has contributed to creating and modifying SolidWorks designs, writing manuals, and assembling systems for amputees, as well as completing a co-op work term for VHP.

Volunteer / Work Study Team

JOSIE LAIDLAW

Josie is a 4th year mechanical engineering student at UVic. She is currently working as a work study student with VHP, focusing on tensile testing of polypropylene material as well as hand assembly. Aside from pursuing her degree, she enjoys yoga, cooking, and getting outside.

NATASHA BANSAL

Natasha is a 4th Year Computer Science student at University of Victoria. She has been volunteering with the project since March 2017. She is involved in Club Foot Brace testing and hand assembly. She plans to pursue a career as a computer scientist for prosthetics. In her spare time, she enjoys travelling and outdoor activities.

MAGGIE CHAN

Maggie is a fourth year biomedical engineering student at UVic. She worked on making spray painting Victoria Hands possible and assembled hands when needed. This year, she is working on creating a quality assurance procedure for the Victoria Hand and completing a work study position with VHP. In her spare time, Maggie enjoys music, reading, and running.

DELANEY HAUGAN

Delaney is a fourth year Biomedical Engineering student at UVic. Since volunteering with the group, she has helped with device assembly, outreach, and workshops for the project. Volunteering with VHP has helped Delaney realize her career interests in biomechanics and she can often be found around the lab making urethane fingertips or taking a stroll through the Mystic Vale!

STEPHEN KIOUSSIS

Stephen is a 3rd year Biomedical Engineering student at the University of Victoria. He has been involved with hand assembly as well as strength testing and assembly documentation for the Child's Hand.

EASTON MARTEL

Easton is a third-year biomedical engineering student and has been volunteering with VHP for the past year. He has been involved with assembly and has performed structural durability tests of different infill patterns for the VC200 design.

TYLER NIELD

Tyler is a biomedical engineering student who has been volunteering with Victoria Hand project for the past year. Tyler has been involved with assembling hand models and performing structural durability tests of different infill patterns for the VC200 design.

ASHLYNN STEEVES

Ashlynn is a fourth year biomedical engineering student at UVic. She is primarily involved in assembly and outreach and takes on side projects as they arise. In her free time Ashlynn works on personal projects, and tries to get out and enjoy beautiful B.C.. She  hopes to pursue a career in bionics upon graduation.

PREVIOUS / PAST VHP TEAM

AUSTIN SAWYER

SAEED ALAM, B.ENG

DIRK BRUSSOW, B.ENG

KALONICA CHRISTIE

MATT TREBLE

EILIDH EARLE-MITCHELL

RICHARD KNOWLTON, B.ENG

ALASTAIR KUZMICK, B.ENG

ANGIE MACDONALD, B.ENG

BRYCE MCMATH

KRISTI MEREDITH, B.A.

CAITLYN QUACH

MICHAEL RICHARDS, B.SC

PRANAV SHRESHTA, B.ENG

PRANAY SHRESHTA, B.ENG

SUKHPREET SINGH

KELLY STEGMAN, PH.D.

Media

©2019 Victoria Hand Project

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