Thursday, May 30, 2024

UTSA Tech Symposium to showcase bold strides of engineering students

UTSA Tech Symposium to showcase bold strides of engineering students

APRIL 28, 2023 — When UTSA computer engineering student Gabriel Benavidez volunteered as a firefighter during his sophomore year of college, the idea of The Rowdy Resuscitator was born after witnessing a handful of cardiac arrests.

Now a senior, Benavidez and teammates Emilio Martinez, Frank Payton, Tosin Oyebode and Sebastian Velez are presenting their project at the 2023 Spring Tech Symposium, taking place from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. today at the Convocation Center on the Main Campus.

“I had earned my EMT certification and after handling a couple of cardiac arrest cases, one day I was talking with my fire chief at the station about how to improve the existing market solutions for cardiac arrests,” Benavidez said. “The Rowdy Resuscitator is designed to administer the highest quality CPR possible at the push of a button.”

The device aims to increase the survivability of cardiac arrest by administering CPR in accordance with AHA guidelines, providing chest compressions and automatic external defibrillation. A cardiac arrest is extremely taxing on Fire Departments and EMS services. The amount of apparatus and manpower needed to handle a single cardiac arrest is substantial. Even with these resources, the odds of surviving a cardiac arrest are incredibly low, averaging 10%.

“The overall goal is that it will free up resources and manpower that responders need to use to handle or treat cardiac arrests. The device could also be used by bystanders, which is important since the majority of cardiac arrests successfully treated had CPR administered immediately.”

Aaron Castro, founder and CEO of Superior Mobile Health, chose to sponsor the project after reading its description at the UTSA Rowdy Tank, a competition for aspiring entrepreneurs. Benavidez said he received both business advice from Castro and medical insights from the staff while working on The Rowdy Resuscitator.

“I was able to appreciate the education that I’ve received here at UTSA. This project felt like the culmination of everything I learned here. When we had problems, I remembered lessons from specific classes that I was able to use to overcome the issues,” Benavidez said.

The Rowdy Resuscitator is among dozens of student innovations that are on display today. Presentations are divided into two sections. Senior Design I is for engineering students in the first semester of their senior year. They are presenting a practical concept related to their major, using a visual display such as a poster.

Discover what the Klesse College of Engineering and Integrated Design has to offer.
⇒ Learn more about the projects being presented at the 2023 Spring Tech Symposium.

Senior Design II is for graduating engineering students in their second semester. They advanced their ideas from Design I and developed a prototype device. Professionals with an engineering background in each major category are judging today’s entries.

The winners, who will be announced at the end of today’s event, are competing for cash awards. The first, second and third place Senior Design II teams will receive prizes of $4,000, $3,000 and $2,000, respectively. The top three Senior Design I teams will each receive a $1,000 prize.

Ari Castañeda

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of The University of Texas at San Antonio.

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