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Rehabilitation engineers

Rehabilitation engineers deal with the technical challenges of technology for those with disability or who are ageing. They work with end-users of technology, their support networks and other practitioners to assess, design, modify and test solutions that you cannot get 'off the shelf'.

Rehab engineers (as they are often known) bring high level engineering and technical skills to bear on ensuring the best fit and design of technology, particularly where the challenges are complex.

Some areas of expertise include:

  • biomechanics of movement
  • design of specialised seating and mobility systems
  • creating integrated technology solutions (e.g. wheelchairs with complex seating, respiratory support and computer control)
  • transport solutions
  • adapted or specially programmed computers, telephones or other ICT (including sensory systems)
  • control by nerve or brain sensing systems
  • speciality equipment, including for recreation (e.g. snow or water skis)
  • technology standards
  • researching, testing and helping commercialise new assistive technologies
  • investigating when technology fails.

Every state has at least one rehab engineer and they are usually connected with a specialised centre. Rehab engineers often provide advice and support to other teams and their expertise can provide reassurance when technology is complex or being pushed to the limit.

Find out more about rehab engineers