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Jeff Reinbolt, assistant professor of mechanical, aerospace, and biomedical engineering, has received a National Science Foundation Faculty Early Career Development (CAREER) award.

The CAREER award is the NSF’s most prestigious honor for junior faculty who demonstrate outstanding research, excellent education, and the integration of education and research within the context of the mission of their organizations.

Reinbolt’s work will examine human movement with the goal of improving rehabilitation for stroke victims.

“The entire MABE family celebrates with Dr. Reinbolt and the good news of his NSF CAREER award,” said Bill Hamel, department head. “He is an exceptional biomechanics researcher, teacher, and communicator who is well organized in all he does. We are delighted to have Dr. Reinbolt as one of our rising young faculty members.”

Reinbolt’s award includes a $417,000 grant over five years to support his teaching and research aimed at developing scientific tools and simulations to investigate rehabilitations that improve patients’ mobility and quality of life following a stroke.

“Stroke is the leading cause of long-term disability in the nation, and patients are commonly left with sensorimotor deficiencies and reduced mobility,” said Reinbolt.

The CAREER project will allow Reinbolt and his team of graduate students to develop tools specific to patients.

“Health care professionals are required to overcome challenges while maintaining high levels of patient care,” said Reinbolt. “Simulation tools can be a great asset to them. I have seen how simulations have made dramatic impacts across engineering fields, but not in medicine. We want to change that.”

Reinbolt’s team will also be involved in outreach efforts to teach others important concepts of coordinated and uncoordinated human movement. For example, a multimedia education app for iPhones and iPads will be created to make their findings accessible to the general public. The project will also work with the Pre-Collegiate Research Scholars along with College of Engineering outreach programs for underrepresented groups, such as the Tennessee Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation, Pipeline Engineering Diversity Program, and Program for Excellence and Equity in Research.