News From Grantees
Improving Life the Fulbright Way currently researching this project while being affiliated with the Department of Mechanical Engineering, HAMK University of Applied Sciences in Riihimäki. My findings will provide an improved apPhoto: Honza Techl proach to designing exoskeletons as well as a platform for future research. In addiBen Alldritt is a keen photographer. On tion to my research, I also assist with the top of this page is his picture of fellow English and Professional skills courses, students at HAMK University of Applied covering material from the fields of project management and technical writing. Sciences Trade Fair. Ben has also taken Being able to assist with teaching at this Issue’s back page calendar pictures. HAMK has allowed me to see a new perspective on Finnish education, one that During my undergraduate studies at the has been rewarding as well as challengUniversity of the Pacific in 2009, I had the ing. The most visible difference between opportunity to assist with research being the United States and Finnish higher educonducted at the University of California, cation systems is the class hours. While in Davis involving splitting electromyograph the United States, students are expected signals in order to assist people with musand often required to attend 2-3 lectures cular degenerative per week for a single diseases to interact class, in Finland, a Being a Fulbrighter with their environcourse might only is not just about the ment. This sparked meet once each the idea to integrate project and what you hope week. Preparing lecthat research into tures becomes chalto gain, but instead, what a related field, one lenging since there that I have had more is so much material you can give back. experience with: that needs to be covrobotics. ered in that one class My research is on period. However, it improving exoskeleton says a great deal about designs to assist individuals with paraplethe student’s independence regarding gia. Can you develop an exoskeleton and learning, since even if material is not covcontrol system based primarily on sensor ered during a lecture, they are expected input, read through the skin, from the into understand it. dividual’s remaining active muscles? I am If I could choose only one aspect of 14
the Finnish Fulbright program that has contributed most to my development, I would say the personal connections have been the most influential. It might be past or current Fulbright grantees, Finnish scholars, or just a passerby in the park, the people you meet make the experience. I had the opportunity to attend the EUNATO seminar in February 2011. Learning about the different EU organizations and their impact on Europe was enlightening; however, meeting the people involved in those organizations as well as the other EU Fulbright grantees made it a richer experience and allowed me to see the greater impact the Fulbright program has worldwide. Living and conducting research in Finland has been a remarkable and life changing opportunity. Whether it was the people, culture, environment or research, I come away from Finland with a new vision regarding what it means to live a fulfilling life. Being a Fulbrighter is not just about the project and what you hope to gain, but instead, what you can give back. With the help of the Fulbright program, I can now create the technologies that will benefit both current generations and those to come. Benjamin Alldritt University of the Pacific Fulbright Graduate Grantee 2010-2011 at HAMK University of Applied Sciences
The Fulbright Center News is a biannual newsletter published by the Fulbright Center in Finland.