ECE Design Competition Takes Aim at Parkinson’s Disease

ECE Design Competition
Feb 22, 2019

ECE Design Competition Takes Aim at Parkinson’s Disease

By Jennifer Hollis, Qualcomm Institute Writer

UC San Diego’s Electrical and Computer Engineering department is about to kick off its annual four-month-long Design Competition aimed at improving the quality of life for people living with Parkinson’s disease and their caregivers. The competition will bring together students from interdisciplinary majors who will work together to innovate and design prototype devices that could help with everyday activities, such as bathing, dressing, and eating, that can become challenging with the onset of Parkinson’s disease.

A handful of Parkinson’s patients and caregivers were in attendance at a recently held information session to share some of their everyday challenges with competition organizers, faculty and students. Many of the problems discussed revolved around mobility issues and the need for improved technology. The session also included presentations made by ECE Chair, Truong Nguyen, Design Lab Faculty Director, Don Norman, the Director of the Movement Disorders Center at UC San Diego Health, Dr. Irene Litvan, and IBM Global Human Resources & Talent Leader Ryan Mancinelli.

UC San Diego students from any major are welcome to compete in teams of two or more. Groups are encouraged to have at least one engineering student and one student who has experience with human-centered design. The patients and caregivers at the information session said they are looking forward to working with the students and were enthusiastic about being part of this experience.

The deadline to register for the competition is February 1, 2019. For more information about the competition or to register visit