Pitt | Swanson Engineering
Pitt Distinguished Professor Dr. Savio L-Y. Woo receives 2012 IEEE Gold Medal for Innovations in Healthcare Technology

 PITTSBURGH  (February 15, 2012) …  The Board of Directors of the  Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE)  has named  Savio L-Y. Woo, Ph.D., D. Sc.(Hon.), D. Eng. (Hon.)  the 2012 recipient of the prestigious  IEEE Gold Medal for Innovations in Healthcare Technology . The IEEE Gold Medal is presented for outstanding contributions and/or innovations in engineering within the fields of medicine, biology and healthcare technology, and is sponsored by the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS).

Dr. Woo is a Distinguished University Professor of Bioengineering and the Founder and Director of the  Musculoskeletal Research Center (MSRC)  of the Department of Bioengineering, Swanson School of Engineering at the University of Pittsburgh. He was recognized by the IEEE for "pivotal contributions to biomechanics and its application to orthopaedic surgery and sports medicine."

"Savio Woo is a great scientist and engineer.  This award, the 2012 IEEE Gold Medal of Innovations in Healthcare Technology could not go to a more deserving person," noted Gerald D. Holder, the Swanson School U.S. Steel Dean of Engineering. "Dr. Woo has previously been awarded the Olympic Gold Medal in Sports Medicine, the only engineer ever to be so recognized, and this award cements his status as one of the leading healthcare engineers in the world."

Dr. Woo is one of the few scientists honored by membership in the  Institute of Medicine  and the  National Academy of Engineering , as well as the  Academia Sinica  (Republic of China). He was also  recognized at the 1998 Olympics  as the recipient of International Olympic Committee (IOC) prize for Sports Medicine - officially the first gold medal awarded at the Olympic Games in Nagano, Japan.

The IEEE Medal of Innovations in Healthcare Technology consists of a bronze replica of a gold medal, a certificate and a $20,000 honorarium. Dr. and Mrs. Woo will donate the prize money to the  Asian♦American Institute for Research and Education (ASIAM) , a not-for-profit public charity.

IEEE is the world's largest professional association dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity. IEEE and its members inspire a global community through IEEE's highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities. For nearly a century, the IEEE Awards Program has paid tribute to researchers, inventors, innovators and practitioners whose exceptional achievements and outstanding contributions have made a lasting impact on technology, society and the engineering profession.
   

  More about Dr. Savio Woo
Savio L-Y. Woo is the Distinguished University Professor of Bioengineering and the Founder and Director of the Musculoskeletal Research Center (MSRC). The MSRC is a diverse multidisciplinary research and educational center founded in 1990 when Dr. Woo was appointed as the Ferguson Professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, School of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. The center was relocated in 2004 to the Department of Bioengineering, Swanson School of Engineering. Prior to joining the University of Pittsburgh, Dr. Woo served as a Professor of Surgery and Bioengineering at the University of California in San Diego for 20 years.

As a pioneer in biomechanics research and education, Dr. Woo has profoundly impacted the field of sports medicine and the management of ligament and tendon injuries, in particular, that has led to improved patient care and recovery. He and his team have developed the concept of "controlled motion is good", showing the benefits of joint movement and early weight-bearing activities during rehabilitation compared to immobilization following surgery. Dr. Woo used robotic technology together with bi-planar fluoroscopy to replicate motions of knee and shoulder in everyday activities and determined the forces that these motions generate in their ligaments and tendons. Such knowledge has led to improved surgical procedures and better recovery time for patients with injuries. Recently, Dr. Woo's research has focused on using novel functional tissue engineering to heal and regenerate ligaments and tendons at the cellular, tissue and organ levels by means of bioscaffolds as well as biodegradable and bioresorbable metallic materials.

Dr. Woo earned his Ph.D. at the University of Washington at Seattle, Honorary D.Sc. from California State University System and D. Eng. (honoris causa) from Hong Kong Polytechnic University.

About the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers

IEEE is the world's largest professional association dedicated to advancing technological innovation and excellence for the benefit of humanity. IEEE and its members inspire a global community through IEEE's highly cited publications, conferences, technology standards, and professional and educational activities. For nearly a century, the IEEE Awards Program has paid tribute to researchers, inventors, innovators and practitioners whose exceptional achievements and outstanding contributions have made a lasting impact on technology, society and the engineering profession. 

About the Department of Bioengineering at the Swanson School of Engineering
Bioengineering is the application of engineering principles to analyze, design, and manufacture tools, structures, and processes to solve problems in the life sciences. Successful patient-focused and commercialization-oriented collaborations between engineers and physicians who traditionally employ differing methodologies are critical to the burgeoning field and to regional economic development. Pitt's Department of Bioengineering, established in 1998 as part of the Swanson School of Engineering, is ranked as one of the nation's top bioengineering programs and has received millions of dollars to fund research for such advances as the development of a tiny cardiac-assist device for infants; a blood-treatment tool that can free patients from ventilator dependence; and materials that help generate bone. 

About the Swanson School of Engineering
The University of Pittsburgh's Swanson School of Engineering is one of the oldest engineering programs in the United States. The Swanson School has excelled in basic and applied research during the past decade and is on the forefront of 21st-century technology, including energy systems, sustainability, bioengineering, microsystems and nanosystems, computational modeling, and advanced materials development. Approximately 120 faculty members serve more than 3,200 undergraduate and graduate students in six departments, including bioengineering, chemical and petroleum engineering, civil and environmental engineering, electrical engineering, industrial engineering, and mechanical engineering and materials science. For the two most-recently reported consecutive years, 2009 and 2010, the Swanson School has had the second-highest percentage of doctoral degrees awarded to women in North America, according to the American Society for Engineering Education.

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2/16/2012

Contact: Paul Kovach