Alec Gonzales awarded first prize at IISE Annual Conference

June 22, 2023

Congratulations to Alec Gonzales, a Ph.D. student in Clemson IE, who was recently awarded first prize in the People and Systems category during the IISE Annual Conference and Expo 2023!

For this competition, students had 3 minutes to pitch their dissertation research to a non-technical audience focusing on the need for our research, our contributions, and its broader impact to society.

Gonzales’s pitch was titled: Evaluation of Exoskeleton Support for Minimally Invasive Surgeons: Assessment of Postures in a Laboratory and Live Procedure.

This pitch focused on the need for interventions to support surgeons during surgical procedures to reduce the development of work-related musculoskeletal disorders. Specifically, his work focuses on exoskeletons as a potential intervention to support minimally invasive surgeons. The research is a multiphase study where during phase 1, and they observed surgeons in the operating room during live procedures to see what postures surgeons needed the most support and which exoskeletons may be the most beneficial for them.

“For phase 2 of our study, we conducted a laboratory study where we systematically evaluated the postures we observed with shoulder-support and back-support exoskeletons. For phase 3 of our study we are aiming to evaluate the exoskeletons during live surgical procedures to evaluate if they support surgeons in an actual clinical setting.”

He also added, “This competition was a great way to showcase the research we are working on here at Clemson as well as learn about the other interesting research students are working on across the country.”