“I believe that the industry-academic partnership that UST and DesignWise Medical have been operating under is a model for the country…Interfacing with industry on critical problems with significant potential impact is paramount to inspiring our students to extend their knowledge and accomplish great things.”
Don Weinkauf

Dean of Engineering University of St Thomas

DesignWise Medical partners with colleges and universities to collaborate jointly on development projects that will allow students interested in the medical device industry to gain real-world experience while contributing to the development of needed pediatric devices. These real-world projects have much more meaning for the students than hypothetical situations as they are contributing to an effort that has true impact on people’s lives.

We work with world renowned engineering, design and business schools, sponsoring design and class projects within these institutions and employing student volunteers.

“By creating this medical design opportunity, industrial design students got a feel on how important good design is to the medical industry. During and after the project, the students were left with the knowledge that their design skills and ideas can make a difference to people and to the world…I have had the privilege to work with Brad Slaker from DesignWise Medical and to witness the impact his company has made on the industrial design students.”
Jennifer Astwood

Assistant Professor
University of Wisconsin – Stout

Educational Partnership Activity and Relationships:

  • University of St. Thomas
    • School of Engineering
    • Regulatory and Clinical Masters Program
  • University of Wisconsin – Stout
    • Industrial Design Program – Arts and Design Department
    • Marketing Program – Business Department
  • University of Minnesota
    • Mechanical Engineering Department
    • Biomedical Engineering Department
  • St. Cloud State University
    • Regulatory Affairs and Services Graduate Program
  • William Mitchell School of Law
    • Intellectual Property [IP] Clinic

Retired Professionals

An opportunity that the current medical device industry [and most industries for that matter] has not yet tapped into is the growing population of the retired professionals. As the baby-boomers are moving towards retirement, the number of professional retirees that have relevant and applicable background will grow considerably. This voluntary removal from the work force also means the loss of the tremendous experience these individuals possess. This experience, forged over many years of making mistakes and generating successes would be invaluable for the new medical device professional if there was some way to transfer that knowledge.

Brad Slaker’s father and mentor is a ‘restlessly’ retired engineer having had a career that spanned 50+ years. Watching his father reluctantly retire along with his father’s entire history of experiences and knowledge was a pivotal motivation for Brad to find a way to tap into this untapped, extremely valuable resource, America’s retired population.

DesignWise Medical brings together these two groups, retirees and future professionals [students], in a framework that will foster and allow for the transfer of the retained wisdom to the students. The benefit to the students is clear but there is also a benefit to be had for the retirees, namely, an opportunity to stay engaged in industry while simultaneously giving back to the next generation of medical device professionals as well as the children positively impacted by the devices that these two groups help design and develop.