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

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. Nick is the original designer of the TBM Hand prosthesis in 1999, on which the Victoria Hand is based. Nick has traveled to Guatemala on three occasions to develop the project there. He is also an Associate Professor, and Director of the Biomedical Engineering Program at the University of Victoria.

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Nick Dechev, Ph.D, P.Eng

Nick Dechev, Ph.D, P.Eng

Executive Director

Josh is the lead designer for the VHP team, responsible for various products including the Victoria Hand. He is a founding member of the VHP team, serves on the VHP board of Directors, and has a B. Eng (UVic) in mechanical engineering. Josh has worked extensively to lead and establish initiatives in Guatemala, Nepal and Haiti. He has traveled to Guatemala on 4 occasions, traveled to Nepal, travelled to central and South America, and various other countries.

Joshua Coutts, B.Eng

Joshua Coutts, B.Eng

Lead Designer

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. He has extensive experience in entrepreneurial initiatives, start-up companies, and knowledge translation of University projects. Jerome has experience with not-for-profit organizations and charities, both as treasurer and board member.

Jerome Etwaroo, B.Eng, P.Eng

Jerome Etwaroo, B.Eng, P.Eng

Michael recently graduated from the University of Victoria and is working on the project full time. He worked on the project through his undergraduate degree, in Biomedical Engineering, and completed two co-op placements with VHP. Michael now helps with the day-to-day operations of VHP, and communicating with the international partners. He also works with organizations who are interested in creating an international partnership. Michael has traveled to Nepal, Cambodia, and Ecuador in the past to assist in project expansion and fittings.

Projects: Wrist System, Custom and Suspension Sockets, Harness, VC200, VO200, Transhumeral System, Previous Hand Versions  (VO190, VC187) 

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Michael Peirone, B.Eng

Michael Peirone, B.Eng

Chief Operating Officer

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. She also serves on the board of Directors. She is an industry liaison officer at UVic facilitating relationships between the university and industry. She has extensive experience in research, patent law, intellectual property, and knowledge translation from the University to Industry.

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

Aislinn Sirk, B.Sc, Ph.D, J.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. Nigel is the founder of CanAssist (formerly UVATT) which is a charity organization based at UVic, and dedicated to helping persons with mental and physical disabilities, and developing innovative assistive technologies. His research interests are disability, assistive technology, policy and practices with respect to individuals with disabilities and their families, and disability supports and services. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience.

Nigel Livingston, Ph.D

Nigel Livingston, Ph.D

ADVISORY MEMBERS

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Justine Trubey

As a girl from Detroit, daughter of a jeweler and tinkerer, Justine developed a lifelong passion for how things are made, and has used technology to re-imagine production throughout her career. From managing content operations for Amazon’s Kindle through her role as VP of Ops & Tech at Random House, she develops pathways for new product categories. As VP of Operations at Shapeways, she built a 3D printing supply chain enabling personal creativity and mass customization. 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. 

Justine Trubey

Andreas Bastian is a designer, engineer, and artist who develops and applies cutting edge 3D printing technologies.  As a senior research scientist at Autodesk, he studies both novel and established additive manufacturing technologies and their role in the near future.  He has conducted research in fused deposition modeling (FDM) technology as lead R&D engineer at Makerbot Industries and developed low-cost selective laser sintering technology (SLS) at both the Miller Lab for Microphysiological Systems and Advanced Materials and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Institute at Rice University.  More recently as an artist in residence at Autodesk, he explored low cost metal laser sintering, developed an un-bounded 3D printing system with applications in digital textile fabrication, and researched mesostructured cellular materials. Andreas is a Founder and Technology Advisory Board Chair of LimbForge. 

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Andreas Bastian

Andreas Bastian

ENGINEERING DESIGN TEAM

After volunteering and working with VHP during his undergraduate degree, Nick left to complete his masters at the University of Toronto. He has now returned to work with us as an Engineering Assistant. Previously, Nick made significant contributions to the design of the VC200 Victoria Hand, Trans-humeral system and led the design of the children's hand. In his free time, Nick likes to hike and sail.

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Nicholas Whyte, B.Eng, M.Eng

Nicholas Whyte, B.Eng, M.Eng

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

Kelly began working for VHP full time in 2020 after volunteering with the team for five years during her undergraduate degree. Kelly completed a co-op work term with VHP in Fall 2018, where she led the design of the Force Doubler, an addition to the harness that increases the pinch force of the devices. Kelly has conducted extensive testing for both the original Child's Hand, the VC300 Hand and the V300 Child's Hand. 

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Kelly Knights

Kelly Knights, B.Eng

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

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Derek Bell

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. He also helped design sockets for locals who wanted to test the Victoria Hand.

Derek Bell, B. Eng.

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

Materials engineer and self-taught programmer with experience using code to solve problems in manufacturing and production environments. When not writing code, Jason enjoys learning about interesting math problems and foraging in the woods. Jason took on the major task of making updates to the LimbForge platform and transitioning it from Ruby on Rails to Java Script. This allowed him to add more functions to the platform and to allow for easier updates in the future.

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Jason Bennett

Jason Bennett

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

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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. Kim has collaboratively worked on the Personal Assistive Writing (PAW) device which assists children to write and conducted tensile testing on 3D printed parts that have undergone various methods of sanitization. Kim completed a co-op work term with VHP in 2020 where she completed the design of the V300 Child's Hand. 

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Kim Arklie

Kim Arklie

Projects: PAW, V300 Children's Hand

VOLUNTEER TEAM

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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.

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ALEX BURDEN, B.ENG

Alex is a recent 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. As an employee at VHP, Alex focused on the documentation of the Victoria Hand, writing 3D printing instructions and assembly manuals for the various hand and socket designs VHP offered at the time. He was also involved in researching painting options to color match the prostheses.

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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.

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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!

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ASEES KAUR

Asees Kaur is a 3rd Year Mechanical engineering student, she began volunteering in 2019 and is pursuing part of her co-op term at VHP. Currently she is working on a paper testing the tensile strengths of 3D printed parts under different forms of sterilization. In the past, she has been involved in hand assembly and development of assembly videos. She hopes to pursue a career within the biomedical field upon graduation.

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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.

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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.

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ALEXANDRA MALINOWSKI, B.SC

Alexandra recently graduated from the BSc Kinesiology program at the University of Victoria. She began volunteering with the project in September 2016 and started a co-op work term under Dr. Dechev in Summer 2017. She has been involved in hand assembly, development of assembly manuals and videos, grant research and website design. Alexandra has an extensive understanding of biomechanics and human anatomy and plans to one day pursue a career as a certified prosthetist.

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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.

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JAMES NGARA

James has been involved with assembling 3D printed hand parts, 3d scanning and 3D modeling scanned molds in preparation for printing. He has also done paint spraying work for the finished products. James has also assisted with optimizing workflows being used at VHP in regards to 3D designing and sculpting.

 

James is currently collaborating and working with VHP to launch a pilot project in Kenya. For more of his work, you can see his LinkedIn Profile.

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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.

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AUSTIN SAWYER

Austin is fourth year biomedical engineering student who has a passion and interest for the innovation of medical devices. Outside our lab, he founded and runs the UVic Biomedical Engineering Design Club. Austin’s initial volunteer work for  VHP, included assembling 3D printed prosthetic hands. Currently he acts as a Strategic Fundraising Advisor Volunteer, focused on creating pitch’s and documentation to approach venture capitalists, and corporate sponsors.

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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.

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SINA VALIZADEH, B.ENG

Sina Valizadeh is a recent graduate of the Mechanical Engineering program from the University of Victoria. He 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. Sina plans to pursue a career in creating prosthetic and assistive devices for people, and loves to play drums, read, and spend time with friends and family.

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