Our Projects

Our Projects

View the links below to learn more about each of our current projects.

Posters for each project from our annual Symposium can be found here

The ALS Alert System

ALS, or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, is a condition which results in loss of voluntary control of muscles and, in later stages, an inability to speak. The goal of this project is to develop, in collaboration with the Greater Philadelphia chapter of the ALS Association, a low-cost eye-triggered alert system for persons with ALS to communicate a need for assistance when their caregivers are not nearby.

Project Manager:  Philip Graybill                                 Student Project Manager: David Brink

Email:                                 Symposium Poster

Approximately 90 million people in Africa lack access to safe drinking water, despite having water infrastructure installed in their community. The Better Pumps team of the Collaboratory provides engineering support for partners working to sustain reliable water infrastructure for everyone. The team tests improvements to the Afridev and India Mark II hand pumps, two of the most common pumps installed.   

Project Manager: David Vader                                       Student Project Manager: Ryan Friend

Email:                                         Symposium Poster

As part of the global effort to increase access to safe and affordable drinking water, the Clean Accessible Water Solutions team designs and installs water treatment systems to provide communities with the cleanest water they can sustainably afford. The team is currently partnering with Tree 4 Life in Guatemala.

Project Manager: Michelle Lockwood                    Student Project Manager: Liv Allbee

Email:                          Symposium Poster


The Cunningham Clubfoot Brace team is working to adapt a novel clubfoot brace to reduce production costs through locally sustainable designs and 3D printing. The Cunningham brace utilizes a unilateral helix, which offers a more comfortable, dynamic alternative to the standard clubfoot brace treatment known as “boots and bar.” The team is partnering with HopeWalks, CURE International and Jerald Cunningham, to use biomedical engineering principles to validate the efficacy of the brace.

Project Manager: Camilo Giraldo                        Student Project Manager: Rachel Huang

Email:                         Symposium Poster

The Fluency Assistive Device project is supporting and improving an electronic device that greatly aids a person with a fluency disorder by masking the user's own auditory feedback. This team is supporting local technician, David Germeyer.

Project Manager: Harold Underwood                  Student Project Manager: Kaleb Egelkamp

Email:                            Symposium Poster

Cerebrovascular disease refers to several conditions related to restriction in blood flow to the brain which may then lead to stroke.  This, in turn, may result in the inability to walk without some form of assistance.  The goal of the Functional Electrical Stimulation project is to research functional electrical stimulation (FES) technology and design/build a low-cost prototype as an effective intervention for improving gait post stroke.

Project Manager: Ryan Farris                           Student Project Manager: James Lim

Email:                              Symposium Poster

The Intelligent Water Project will improve access to clean water in rural African communities through a partnership with World VisionSIM and AlignedWorks by increasing hand pump performance and reliability, while also reducing the resources needed for repair. This is achieved through a remote monitoring system installed on the community hand pump which utilizes sensors, an embedded microprocessor and mobile phone, and cloud technology to create a comprehensive, real-time database providing information on pump use and needed maintenance.

Project Manager: Randy Fish                                Student Project Manager: Owen Shea

Email:                                     Symposium Poster

Many people living with disability around the world are marginalized because they are perceived to be unable to participate in and contribute to community life. Furthermore, people living with disability in hard-to-reach places due to issues such as political unrest and terrorism often have no one to turn to for help. Our three-wheel, off-road, electric wheelchair is a personal transportation device that empowers persons with disabilities to travel to school and work and to more fully participate in family and community life.  The design may be fabricated by local partners without the involvement of Messiah University personnel.  We are increasing hope and quality of life by enabling local fabricators anywhere to sustainably produce and distribute our tricycles to persons with disabilities.

Project Manager: David Vader                            Student Project Manager: Riley Harro

Email:                              Symposium Poster

Persons with disabilities in developing countries often lack the basic equipment needed to assist them in their daily lives. International Nepal Fellowship (INF) is a Christian medical organization in Nepal providing assistance to people with disabilities and other conditions. INF has expressed a desire for a wheelchair that is designed specifically for the challenges of Nepal and would be able to be made from local materials.

Project Manager: Tim Van Dyke                       Student Project Manager: Joshua Holley

Email:                        Symposium Poster

The Prosthetic Knee team is partnered with the CURE International Hospital in Kijabe, Kenya, to explore avenues in which the orthopedic workshop would be able to manufacture and provide a low-cost prosthetic knee for through-knee and trans-femoral amputees. While the hospital has commercially made knees available, a lower price point and the ability to fabricate a prosthetic knee in-country would open up an additional option for patients who would otherwise not be able to afford a prosthetic.

Project Manager: Philip Tan                             Student Project Manager: Paige Campbell

Email:                                  Symposium Poster

The Solar PV team is working with Rays of Peace in India to assist them in designing and installing a grid-tied solar system with battery storage capability.  Rays of Peace runs a children’s home and anti-human trafficking ministry at a location outside of Bangalore.  The team will also support and upgrade the solar system recently installed at the Grantham Memorial Park near Messiah’s campus.

Project Manager: Harold Underwood                             Student Project Manager: Micah Clarke

Email:                                       Symposium Poster

Videos are from last year's Solar PV project. Updated videos will be available in May 2024.

Cerebrovascular disease refers to several conditions related to restriction in blood flow to the brain which may then lead to stroke.  This, in turn, may result in the inability to walk without some form of assistance, and to the need for knee-ankle-foot orthoses (KAFOs).  The goal of the Stance Control Orthotic project is to research, design and prototype a 3Dprintable stance-control knee orthosis (SC-KO) with an any-angle locking mechanism. 

Project Manager: Ryan Farris                             Student Project Manager: Laurel Pettitt

Email:                                Symposium Poster

The marketing team uses social media, graphic design, writing, and film to promote the Collaboratory and provide updates about the organization.

Project Manager:  Alison Johnson            Student Project Managers: Jenna O'Connell

Email:     Most Recent Newsletter

New Projects

Projects beginning in the 2023-2024 academic year, more details to come.

Millions of people die each year from infections by bacteria that are resistant to antimicrobial drugs, largely due to overprescription of such drugs. The AMR team is partnering with the Macha Research Trust to assess appropriate AMR tests for clinics in Zambia. Ultimately, we aim to identify rapid and affordable diagnostics so that clinicians can target infections with the correct antibiotic for each patient.

Project Manager: Philip Tan                    Student Project Manager: Michael Collyer



Chica Bean Coffee is a is a Guatemalan specialty coffee, produced by women and roasted at origin. Chica Bean partners with Tree 4 Hope ministries and Hope Academy for children in Guatemala. Chica Bean seeks to add decaffeinated coffee to their product line while keeping their on-site production model. The goal of the project is to develop a coffee decaffeination process that can be done at Chica Bean’s facility and is affordable, technically feasible, and sustainable at Chica Bean’s scale.

Project Manager: Thomas Soerens                          Student Project Manager: Aleesa Wu


New Beginnings Children’s Center in rural Magunga, Nyanza, Kenya is a home for orphans and vulnerable children and is a ministry of Shiloh Christian Missions. The goal of this project is to design a comprehensive water supply and management plan for the New Beginnings campus. The plan will include rainwater collection, pumping, storage, and distribution as well as stormwater management. It will also accommodate future well installation and expansion of the campus.  

Project Manager: Thomas Soerens                          Student Project Manager: Anna Ferrin



This year, our land development team is partnering with Rays of Peace in Southern India to layout a new road and sports court, as well as a design to manage stormwater on the property. Rays of Peace currently supports over 100 children and women living onsite who will benefit from the improvements.

Project Manager: Michelle Lockwood                Student Project Manager: Benjamin Gates



Piano music inspires the heart and soothes the soul. The sustain pedal under the piano adds color and controls musical texture by connecting successive notes together. The goal of our team is to enable an accomplished pianist with paraplegia to use the full expressive capabilities of the piano by designing an assistive technology that presses the sustain pedal in response to upper-body movement.


Project Manager: Philip Graybill                     Student Project Manager: Sawyer Haney


Persons with disabilities in developing countries often lack the basic equipment needed to assist them in their daily lives.  Our team is working on developing a wheelchair which is designed specifically for the challenges of disabled people in Sikalongo, Zambia and which would be able to be made from local materials.

Project Manager: Tim Van Dyke                                 Student Project Manager: Blake Clemmer


Approximately 11 million people in Latin America and 481 million people in the least developed countries (United Nations classification) lack access to electricity, according to 2021 data from the World Bank. This is often due to rural and remote living conditions without power grid connectivity. Many of these locations, especially in mountainous regions or on the coasts, have ample wind resources that can be used to generate electricity on or off the grid. The Streamlining Wind Turbines team at the Collaboratory provides engineering support to WindAid in Peru. As blade repair and replacement is crucial to providing consistent power generation, the team is currently designing improvements to streamline blade maintenance. Additionally, a performance monitoring system is being designed to capture a baseline for turbine performance.

Project Manager: Tim Burdett                                                Student Project Manager: Ethan Regula                                                      

Farming is one of the largest forms of employment in Zambia; however, efficient and innovative forms of farming are not available to the community due to cost and lack of awareness. The Zambia Seeder team is working with Tony Beers (Brethren in Christ Church) to design and implement a low-cost manual seeder. The project’s final product will allow Zambian farmers to cover more ground when farming, as well as plant their seeds more accurate which increases yield.

More information to come.

Project Manager: Camilo Giraldo                                Student Project Manager: Shekinah Ellis


Past Projects

Every year several projects close to make room for new projects. Here are some of the Symposium videos from projects which closed in May 2023.



Coffee Process Wastewater Treatment


Prone Trolley


Chicken Egg Incubator




Mexico Bridge


Drinking Water Innovative Purification


Rapid Orthotics


Diagnostic for Viral Diseases