Judging of each year's MDEA competition is conducted by an impartial, multidisciplinary panel of expert jurors—comprised of a balance of clinicians, engineers, and designers—who carefully review all of the submissions and narrow them down to a select group of exceptional products in each of the 10 Medtech categories. The jury panel typically encompasses medtech professionals from a wide range of healthcare and design related fields, including clinical practice, biomedical engineering, human factors, industrial design, manufacturing, and other areas.

Members of the MDEA jury are selected each year by a panel of editors from UBM. Such independence and impartiality is a leading reason for the industry wide acceptance and success that the MDEA program has enjoyed. MDEA jurors—past and present—have set a high standard for judging excellence and fair competition.

Lance Black, MD

Medical Device Innovation Lead, TMC Innovation Institute

As medical device innovation lead, Lance Black focuses on the resident companies of TMCx by supporting their efforts in developing innovative healthcare technologies. He served in the U.S. Air Force, where he completed a residency in family medicine with additional training in aerospace medicine. He deployed twice during his service, first as chief of the medical staff at Manas Transit Base in Kyrgyzstan, and then as a squadron flight surgeon in Okinawa, Japan. During his time in Manas, Black helped to create a mobile modular medical facility aimed at uplifting the surrounding defunct healthcare system. In Japan, he responded to in-flight emergencies and orchestrated protocols ensuring the safety of F-22 pilots and their crew. Black’s work with wounded warrior amputees during his military career and his background in biological engineering prompted him to refocus his efforts from patient care to the design and development of medical devices. Following the completion of his commitment to the military, Black attended Georgia Tech’s Masters of Biomedical Innovation and Development program to include one year in their Masters of Industrial Design program. Black earned his bachelor’s degree in biological engineering from Louisiana State University, a medical degree from LSU Health Sciences Center of New Orleans, and an MBID from Georgia Tech.

Andra Blomkalns, MD

Vice Chair of Academic Affairs and Business Development, Department of Emergency Medicine, and Medical Liason to the Office for Technology Development, UT Southwestern Medical Center

Andra Blomkalns, MD, joined the UT Southwestern team in April 2015 as the vice chair of academic affairs and business development in the Department of Emergency Medicine. She also serves as the medical liaison to the Office for Technology Development. Her experience includes basic laboratory research and clinical research with a focus on cardiovascular disease, obesity, and dietary influences on health and disease. Her interests also include technology development, evaluation, and improvement.

Carmen Chacon

Medical designer, IDSA
ID/HF/UE, Chacon Design

Carmen Chacon has more than 25 years of experience designing diagnostic, surgical, and drug-delivery systems. She has worked on interdisciplinary teams to create innovative devices in startups and Fortune 50 companies alike. To each project, Chacon brings her expertise in usability, ergonomics, and human factors, providing a holistic approach to research and development of medical systems that are safe and effective. Chacon has developed ophthalmic equipment for newborns, wearable devices for cardiac patients, and minimally invasive surgical devices. She strives to bridge technology and usability in the user-centered design approach. Prior to focusing on medical device design, Chacon designed consumer electronics devices. She holds a BFA in Industrial Design from the University of Washington.

Uli Chettipally

Physician, InnovatorMD

Uli K. Chettipally, MD, MPH, is a speaker, physician, researcher, and an innovator.  He is passionate about delivering artificial intelligence-enabled solutions to physicians in order to improve patient outcomes. He is the chief technology officer of CREST Network, a collaborative research network at Kaiser Permanente, covering 21 hospitals.  He designed, developed and implemented a region-wide clinical decision support platform to deliver real-time predictive analytics to the physicians at the point of care, for which he received the "Pioneer" award for Innovation. Chettipally’s other roles are president of the Society of Physician Entrepreneurs, San Francisco Bay Area chapter; member of the board of directors for the San Mateo County Medical Association; and assistant clinical professor of medicine at the University of California, San Francisco. 

David Copeland

Director of Human Factors Industrial Design, Ximedica

David Copeland is a director of human factors industrial design at Ximedica, leading the Minneapolis office.  He is an over 20-year veteran of product and user research, concept visualization, industrial design, prototype development, and program management for Fortune 500 medical companies. Currently, he leads and advises a multi-disciplined team made up of industrial designers, user interface experts, and usability specialists. The group collaborates to understand user needs and design inputs to create and develop product solutions that provide excellent usability solutions within highly technical healthcare products and solutions. He is a graduate of Carnegie Mellon University, with a BFA in Industrial Design, a member of IDSA, and has spoken at several MD&M, Medical Alley, and Device Talk events. 

Steve Geist

Director, Research & Development, Edwards Lifesciences

Steve Geist is a director of R&D within Edwards Lifesciences' Transcatheter Mitral & Tricuspid Therapies (TMTT) division, currently leading the FORMA Tricuspid Transcatheter Repair System development team. During his 12-plus-year career at Edwards, he has worked across multiple business units, including (surgical) Heart Halve Therapy, Transcatheter (Aortic) Heart Valves, Advanced Technology, and now TMTT. His responsibilities have included the transfer of valve production from the corporate headquarters in Irvine to what was at the time a new from the ground up manufacturing plant in Singapore, as well as the manufacturing scale-up of both the transfemoral and transapical delivery systems in the early clinical and commercial days of the SAPIEN aortic THV. Following that, Geist helped found Edwards's transcatheter mitral valve replacement program, later named FORTIS. This team developed all aspects of the device completely internally at Edwards, taking the device from napkin sketch through iterative product development and pre-clinical evaluation, to formal qualification, and ultimately into clinical trials in multiple regions across the globe. For the past two years, Geist has worked on another of Edwards's internally developed technologies, the FORMA tricuspid repair system, recently moving into the role of director of R&D for the whole program. 

Eric Richardson

Associate Teaching Professor, Rice University

Eric Richardson joined Rice University in 2013 to teach medical device design, strengthen academic-industry partnerships, and create curriculum in medical technology development for global markets. In 2015, he became the founding director of the Global Medical Innovation Masters Program and associate director of TMC Biodesign, a fellowship program that offers venture formation curriculum to create digital health and medical device startups. Prior to 2013, he was a principal R&D engineer at Medtronic Heart Valves in California, where he led teams in the development of transcatheter heart valves. Richardson has a PhD in biomedical engineering from the University of Minnesota.

Bryce Rutter, PhD

CEO, Metaphase Design Group Inc.

Bryce Rutter is a renowned specialist in ergonomic product design and the leading worldwide expert in the design of handheld products. His portfolio of work includes robotic surgical systems; powered and manual instrument design; drug-delivery systems; disposables; mobile and wearable devices; personal care products; food and beverage packaging; and custom sensory, usability, and consumer insight research programs.  His company, Metaphase, has and continues to define new product categories, rejuvenate sleepy brands, and develop innovative designs that fit like a glove for several of the world’s most prestigious and influential brands and start-ups. Metaphase has received more than 120 International Design Excellence Awards, been awarded more than 100 patents, and has had several designs inducted into the Chicago Athenaeum’s Good Design Museum Collections, as well as two designs selected by Museum of Modern Art. Rutter has been a speaker at several global conferences, has published numerous articles, and is a vocal advocate for a user-centered design innovation strategy and brining dignity to the design of medical products.  

Mary Kay Smith

Director, Michigan State University Learning and Assessment Center

Mary Kay Smith currently serves as the director of the Michigan State University Learning and Assessment Center, where she is also an assistant professor. She holds a doctorate in Higher, Adult and Lifelong Education Administration. Smith is the current chair of accreditation for the International Society for Simulation in Healthcare (SSH), and accreditation reviewer, team leader, and member of the SSH Directors’ Committee and IPE Committee. She is also the quality assurance chair for the American Heart Association Great Lakes Emergency Cardiovascular Care Committee and member of the Association for Standardized Patient Educators, SimGhost, and Sigma Theta Tau International.  Smith has been a leader with regard to simulation, medical device, and packaging interface, presenting internationally and multiple collaborative research initiatives.  Her clinical expertise as a nurse includes 19 years in ED and three years in ICU/CCU and clinical education.

Scott Thielman

Chief Technology Officer, Product Creation Studio

Scott Thielman is the chief technology officer and founder of the award-winning, Seattle-based Product Creation Studio. An accomplished mechanical engineer, he has extensive R&D experience, including mechanism design, enclosure design, system modeling, embedded software, electronic circuits, and board layout. Thielman’s expertise in these disciplines, as well as compliance testing and FMEA, allows him to create effective solutions and manage medical projects through production both domestically and overseas. 

Scott holds a PhD in mechanical engineering for work on an automated manufacturing system from the University of Washington, and he is a Washington State licensed professional.

Mark Wehde

Section Head, Division of Engineering, Mayo Clinic

Mark Wehde is section head of technology development within the Mayo Clinic Division of Engineering. His group specializes in technology innovation and medical device development. He is very familiar with the entire process, from ideation and early feasibility studies through clinical trials. While Wehde’s responsibilities include personnel management, staffing and recruitment, strategic planning, process improvement, project evaluation and prioritization, academic and industry collaborations, intellectual property, technology investigation, and project management, his love is innovation—solving new problems in new ways. Wehde has been a core member of the team that developed the Division of Engineering’s quality system and is also the sponsor and a member of the Engineering Project Safety Subcommittee and the reprocessing and biocompatibility workgroups. In addition, he is a member of the Mayo Midwest Medical Device Sterilization and Disinfection Oversight Group, he holds a faculty position in the Quality Academy, and is a new facilitator in the Office of Leadership and Organizational Development. Wehde is also a reviewer for the IEEE International Symposium on Medical Measurements and Applications. He received a Master of Science degree in Biomedical Engineering from Iowa State University and a Bachelor of Science degree in Electrical Engineering from South Dakota State University. He is currently pursuing a Masters of Business Administration through the University of Wisconsin.

Stephen Wilcox, PhD, FIDSA

Principal and Founder, Design Science

Stephen Wilcox, PhD, FIDSA, is a principal and the founder of Design Science (Philadelphia), a 40-person consultancy that specializes in optimizing the usability and safety of healthcare-related products for clients that include many of the largest manufacturers worldwide (e.g., J&J, Baxter, Medtronic, Fresenius, AstraZeneca, Sanofi, BD, Otsuka, Merck, and Novartis). Wilcox is a member of the Industrial Designers Society of America’s (IDSA) Academy of Fellows. He served for several years as chair of the IDSA Human Factors Professional Interest Section. Wilcox serves on the advisory boards of the Industrial Design Department of Philadelphia University and the School of Design of Carnegie Mellon University, the Human Factors Engineering and Home Use Environment committees of AAMI, on the ISO/IEC committee (“Working Group 4”) that wrote the medical device human factors standard IEC/ISO 62366, and on the editorial board of Medical Device and Diagnostic Industry. He holds a BS in psychology and anthropology from Tulane University, a PhD in experimental psychology from Penn State, and a Certificate in Business Administration from the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. He has won a number of design awards, has guest-edited the journal Innovation several times, has served as a judge for a number of product design award competitions, and has chaired the national IDSA Design Conference and the London-based Include Conference on inclusive design. Wilcox has given hundreds of invited addresses to various organizations, has published more than 70 articles in professional journals, and is the current editor-in-chief of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society journal, Ergonomics in Design. His book, Designing Usability into Medical Products, co-authored with Michael Wiklund, was published in 2005.

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