Open Bionics Founder Joel Gibbard nominated for SEMTA's Engineering Hall of Fame

Issue date: 30 January 2015


Joel Gibbard, the founder of Open Bionics, a business based at the Technology Business Incubator at Bristol Robotics Laboratory has been nominated for SEMTA's Engineering Hall of Fame 2015, which brings together and celebrates the most inspiring and innovative British Engineers.

Joel's invention of 3D printed robotic hands provides an affordable, accessible alternative to expensive prosthetics with life-changing benefits for those who would not normally be able to afford them.

His nomination follows Open Bionic's first successful trial where an amputee was 3D scanned and fitted with a custom prosthetic that took less than a week to create. This is the first time in history that an amputee has been fitted with an advanced, custom-fitted 3D printed robotic hand.

Joel said, “It is fantastic to be up for this award. We are getting ever closer to giving amputees a greater freedom of choice when it comes to prosthetic devices. Open Bionics is using innovate technology to address challenges that affect many people, it's an incredibly rewarding thing to be a part of.”

Nominations have been narrowed down to a shortlist of just five contemporary British engineers whose work has demonstrated outstanding innovation and had a positive impact on society.

Joel Gibbard is in excellent company; other nominees include Professor Dame Ann Dowling DBE FREng FRS, a world authority on low noise aircraft and low emission power stations and President of the Royal Academy of Engineering; Mark Chapman, Chief Engineer of The Bloodhound Project, developing the ultimate Land Speed Record car – BLOODHOUND SSC; Professor Máire O'Neill, one of Europe's leading digital security experts and Dr Dan Plant, a Royal Academy of Engineering Enterprise Fellow at Imperial College London, works in the field of advanced active materials.

UWE Vice-Chancellor Professor Steve West, said, “We are very proud that we have been able to provide Open Bionics with technical and business support during the formative stage of their business. It has been a phenomenal year for this company that has been recognised globally for its genuinely ground-breaking work to provide open source, low cost, light weight prosthetics by combining robotics technology with 3D printing.”

The poll closes on Sunday 15 February. To vote for Joel Gibbard visit: http://www.semta.org.uk/hall-of-fame-2015-shortlist

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