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Hello There!

I am Mohamed Irfan Mohamed Refai, or Irfan if you need to catch a breath!

In essence, I am a Biomedical engineer and am fascinated by its interdisciplinary approach and the promises it holds to transform us from mere mortals to homohybrids

I received my PhD in Electrical Engineering (University of Twente) where I worked on understanding motor recovery after neurological disorders. There is a lot of research needed to help clinicians identify the right patient specific therapies. I have developed algorithms for wearable sensors to measure motor recovery, This will help clinicians measure the right parameters as effortlessly as possible. 

I love to juggle between studying neural pathways, building sensor fusion algorithms, and machine learning models. I also enjoy supervising bachelor and master projects, and teaching courses along the way.

I envision working towards Rehabilitation Robotics, Prosthesis design, and better acceptance of rehabilitation devices. 

I am part of the E-Nable volunteer network where we build 3D printed prosthetic hands for children in need. I love Basketball and run several blogs. I also like gaming, so you can imagine where I lose all my free time. 

 

PROFESSIONAL HISTORY

PROGRAM ANALYST, Cognizant Pvt. Ltd. 

2012 - 2014;

Bengaluru, India

My first real job was working at one of India's largest software consulting firms. I worked with C# and VB .NET. I built desktop and website applications for an American company: Traveler's Insurance. The company had recently added 401(k) pension plans, and we had to enable its functionality on their desktop and website apps. 

SERVICE ENGINEER,

Trans Healthcare Pvt. Ltd.RANS HEALTHCARE PVT. LTD

Jan - Sept 2014;

Chennai, India

During my stint here, I serviced, installed, demonstrated use of, and maintained biomedical equipment in several hospitals and clinics across South India and New Delhi. The equipment included ventilators, infusion pumps, baby warmers, and patient monitors. I enjoyed problem solving and troubleshooting faulty medical equipment and understanding the pain points of the healthcare workers using them. 

SUMMER PROJECT,

Roessingh Research and Development

July - August 2015;

Enschede, The Netherlands

As I was new to the Netherlands, I wanted to explore the research network. So, I spent my first summer helping researchers at RRD with the EVOLUTIONS project. I edited an in house MATLABᵀᴹ based gait analysis tool by improving their UI and functionality based on the requirements and feedback from the researchers.

INTERNSHIP,

Roessingh Research and Development

February - March 2016;

Enschede, The Netherlands

This short internship was part of my MSc degree. I collected data from healthy volunteers and analyzed changes in EMG power spectrum during static and walking conditions. We found that the power spectrum of the EMG shifted in different directions among different participants. 

MASTER THESIS,

University of Twente

2016 - 2017;

Enschede, The Netherlands

The master thesis was eventually a part of my PhD and also resulted in a publication. I evaluated and showed the feasibility of using pressure insoles as a lightweight and inconspicuous alternative for the bulky force sensors present in the ForceShoesᵀᴹ for estimating gait stability measures. 

PHD STUDENT,

University of Twente

March 2017 - 2021;

Enschede, The Netherlands

Funded by Dutch NWO, under the project NeuroCIMT. I was supervised by dr. Bert-Jan F. van Beijnum, prof. Jaap H. Buurke, and prof. Peter H. Veltink. The PhD focuses on understanding motor recovery patterns post stroke as well as designing wearable sensors that measure recovery. During this period, we identified metrics that reflect movement quality post stroke by performing systematic reviews. Simultaneously, I developed a Portable Gait Lab system consisting of three inertial measurement units powered by the magic of sensor fusion and biomechanical principles of gait. 

DOCENT,
University of Twente

2021;

Enschede, The Netherlands

After my Ph.D., I spent a few months teaching 'De Bewegende Mens en Gezondheidsrecht ' course (202000825) for Bachelor Technical Medicine students. I was the instructor for the Motion Capture practical, and setup  different laboratory equipment and and drafted course-specific manuals for them. The equipment included Qualisys motion tracker, Force plates, Delsys EMG systems, and Biodex dynamometer. I evaluated their experimental protocols and final course reports as part of the course requirements.

POST-DOC,
University of Twente

Nov 2021 - now;

Enschede, The Netherlands

I will be working as a post-doctoral researcher within the SOPHIA Project (https://project-sophia.eu/) under Prof. Massimo Sartori. The goal is to develop injury likelihood estimators based on real-time estimates of musculoskeletal states and thereafter develop control logics for bio-protective exosuits.

 

PUBLICATIONS

 

AREAS OF INTEREST

Knowledge, Expertise, and Interest

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SENSOR FUSION

Attended the Inertial sensor fusion course at Linköping University;

Taught sensor fusion and supervised related projects for master's and bachelor's students.

BIOMECHANICS

Developed wearable sensing solutions for gait analysis;

Applied patent for a Portable Gait Lab system;

Reviewed and recommended movement quality measures for upper limb reaching.

E-NABLE HANDS

Part of the E-Nable volunteer network in the Netherlands.

I built this mechanical 3D printed hands at the University of Twente;

I also designed and built and EMG controlled 3D printed forearm prosthesis. 

LANGUAGE AND SPEAKING

Active member of Toastmasters International;

Social fluency in Dutch;

Professional fluency in English;

I also speak Tamil, and Hindi;

Currently working on my French and Arabic skills.

 

EDUCATION

2015 - 2017

MSC, ELECTRICAL ENGINEERING WITH RESEARCH HONOURS, UNIVERSITY OF TWENTE

2008 - 2012

BE, BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING, SSN COLLEGE OF ENGINEERING

2006 - 2008

AISSCE, SBOA SCHOOL AND JR COLLEGE

 

Personal History

Although I was born in Tamil Nadu, India, I was raised in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. I studied in the same school where my parents taught Mathematics. So, we went together almost everywhere. Our school was run by the large Indian community in Saudi Arabia, so I grew up in an Indian bubble far from home. I moved back to India to continue with my high school and bachelor's in engineering. After working for a while in a software firm, I wanted to move closer to Biomedical Engineering, and joined a small company that serviced medical equipment for public clinics and hospitals. I moved to the Netherlands for my masters, and I have stayed here since. 

 

My brother is a surgeon back home, and my sister is asking the most important questions of her life as a teenager. Back in high school, I met Ashwini US, and years later am happily married to her. Here we are chilling in Ghent :D

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HOBBIES

WRITING/BLOGGING

GUITAR

BASKETBALL

PC GAMING

 
  • When a distinguished but elderly scientist states that something is possible, he is almost certainly right. When he states that something is impossible, he is very probably wrong.

  • The only way of discovering the limits of the possible is to venture a little way past them into the impossible.

  • Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.

Arthur C. Clarke

 

CONTACT

  • Twitter
  • LinkedIn
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