Not Just Pretty: Clothing Innovations for Health
Speaker: Mary Ruppert-Stroescu, Washington University, St. Louis
Short Bio: Professor Ruppert-Stroescu is passionate about harnessing the power of textiles and clothing to improve lives; specifically, engaging technological advancements such as smart and conductive textiles to improve health and well-being. She has worked in teams on such diverse fields as apparel design, biomedical sciences, physiology, mechanical, electrical and computer engineering, and data mining. She has helped developed working prototypes that combine materials and electronics to gather biometric signals that wirelessly transmit data to a computer for medical-quality signals to be processed and analyzed. Her research includes analyzing the clothing behaviors of women over age 65 in order to develop a hip protector holder that garnered positive responses in user tests. She has worked with mechanical engineers to develop impact-diffusing material that protects the hip when a fall occurs. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Professor Ruppert-Stroescu has also been an active, contributing member of the Washington University and BJC Healthcare PPE Task force, helping design efficient and effective masks and gowns.