Bassendean engineer to research assitive technology as Churchill Fellow

BASSENDEAN engineer and 2016 Churchill Fellow Tim McLennan – who suffered from a spinal cord injury – will travel overseas to research assistive technology.

Mr McLennan will travel to the US, Canada, UK, Sweden and Switzerland to study best practice and the latest development in this field.

He was a new engineering graduate when he was involved in a gliding accident that left him with a spinal cord injury.

It took eight months of rehabilitation to make a significant recovery and he eventually started walking again.

Mr McLennan said he was fortunate to have recovered to the extend he did.

“As an engineer, my job has been to solve problems and create solutions, but it was not until I experienced a spinal cord injury myself that I really had my eyes opened to the world of assistive technology,” he said.

“However, through my work I often see people who are not as fortunate, in situations that I potentially may have, or anyone else could end up in.

“It is extremely rewarding to now be able to apply my engineering skills in such a meaningful way and directly improve the quality of life for people with disabilities.”

Mr McLennan said he had been an electronics and computer systems engineer for 15 years but had been working in the disability sector for the past six years.

“Assistive technology has the power to restore some of the functional losses experienced by a person with a disability, enabling them to regain independence in activities that most of us take for granted,” he said.

Mr McLennan said he wanted to ensure that Australians had the most appropriate and advanced assistive technology devices and services.

“I also want to both establish new and strengthen existing networks with leading international specialists, researchers and developers,” he said.

Mr McLennan said he wanted to ensure Australia stayed informed of changes and advances so it could have access to the best of what the world had to offer.