Julia Heyman wins 2017 Carroll L. Wilson Award

Office of Distinguished Fellowships

Julia Heyman, an MIT senior in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, has been selected as the Carroll L. Wilson Award winner for 2017. The competitive award is given to one graduating MIT senior to support a year's worth of self-directed work following graduation, which will enable the student to develop an independent idea into a future professional or educational endeavor. Heyman will receive an award of $25,000 to travel to Indonesia after graduation to pursue a 12-month project studying the implementation of wheelchair sensors. 

Heyman has a strong interest in pursuing research pertinent to global development and health issues. Her project proposes to utilize sensors attached to wheelchairs to acquire usage and performance data that will help developers of these devices better understand the needs of low-income users in the developing world. These data, complemented by interviews, will provide information about the quality durability, and health outcomes associated with the chairs. Heyman will collaborate with United Cerebral Palsy Wheels for Humanity, Sensen, and D-Lab/CITE at MIT in addition to community partners in Indonesia.

“Julia’s project involves the intersection of science and technology,” says Steve Carhart, current chair of the Carroll L. Wilson (CLW) Award Committee. “She carefully included protocols to ensure that the project includes meaningful involvement of the communities to be benefitted, in this case in Indonesia...”

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