A HEAD of rehabilitation engineering has been named as one of the Top 50 Women in Engineering for 2017 in the United Kingdom.
Dr Lorna Tasker, Head of Rehabilitation Engineering at Morriston Hospital in Swansea, was nominated by the Institute of Physics and Engineering in Medicine, of which she is a member.
The Top 50 Women in Engineering 2017 was open to all women aged 35 and under who work in the engineering sector. It is run by The Daily Telegraph in partnership with the Women’s Engineering Society and key employers in the industry.
Dr Tasker’s success at making the list was announced on International Women in Engineering Day, which is marked annually on 23 June to celebrate the achievements of outstanding women engineers.
She said: ‘I’m delighted to have been included as one of the Top 50 Women in Engineering in the UK, it is a real honour. Anything which can help raise the profile of women in the profession is to be welcomed and it might also help to attract young women into engineering as it is such a rewarding, exciting and fulfilling career.’
Dr Tasker leads a team at Morriston Hospital who apply engineering to help patients who have complex needs in posture, mobility and pressure ulcers by, for example, designing a custom wheelchair for a severely disabled patient to help enhance their life.
Her research and development to improve the way wheelchair cushions are designed and manufactured using digital techniques received national recognition for a Healthcare Scientist’s ‘Innovation in patient or clinical services’ award back in 2009. Since then, Dr Tasker has had a particular interest in finding engineering solutions to the problem of pressure ulcers and has been actively developing services in South West Wales which can save patients from serious pain, improve healing times and reduce hospital admissions and nursing time.
Dr Tasker has always been keen to pass on her experience and knowledge to the next generation of rehabilitation engineers and she regularly teaches and supervises trainees and students. She lectures at Swansea University and often presents at national conferences.
She is also passionate about pushing the use of new technology to improve patients’ lives. Dr Tasker led on a project to help Multiple Sclerosis patients to access clinical engineers though the use of their iPads in their own homes, and has investigated 3D wound monitoring to allow pressure ulcers to be reviewed remotely.
She was also the lead for the “Efficiency through Technology” project, which received funding from the Welsh Government to evaluate mobile technologies for pressure ulcer care in the community.
All of this led to Dr Tasker and her team winning the Academy of Healthcare Science Award for Innovation at this year’s Advancing Healthcare Awards.
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