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Friday, March 15, 2013 - Doctoral candidate wins national award for research
By Eric Reikowski, media relations assistant

Oakland University doctoral candidate Avinash Konkani has been named winner of the American College of Clinical Engineering (ACCE) 2013 Student Paper Competition. 

The award is given annually to a graduate student in clinical engineering or a related graduate program for writing an essay that “contributes significantly to the body of knowledge in clinical engineering.” According to the ACCE website, papers are judged based on seven areas: relevance, fundamentals, familiarity, application, analysis, structure of delivery and conclusion.

Konkani coauthored three research papers with support from five other scholars, including OU associate engineering professor Dr. Barbara Oakley and Dr. Barbara Penprase, associate professor of nursing. All three papers are related to work involving reduction of noise levels in the pediatric intensive care unit at William Beaumont Hospital in Royal Oak. The project is funded through an OU-Beaumont Multidisciplinary Research Award and aims to improve the quality of patient care.

“I am honored to receive this prestigious national award from ACCE, the leading organization in clinical engineering,” said Konkani, who called the recognition “a milestone in my professional life.” 

These efforts have already made an impact, helping spur development of a behavioral modification program that enables hospital employees to better understand the physiological effects of noise on patients and health professionals.

Konkani’s research papers have appeared in nationally respected publications such as the Journal of Critical Care and Biomedical Instrumentation and Technology. He presented the paper “Reduction of Noise Levels in the PICU of Beaumont Hospital” at the 2012 OU-Beaumont Health System Biomedical Research Symposium.

“I sincerely thank Dr. Oakley for being the inspiration behind my success,” said Konkani, extending gratitude to his coauthors. “I also cannot forget to thank my family here in the U.S. and in India, and OU-Beaumont Health System for their continuous support of my education and research work.” 

Konkani, who is pursuing a doctorate in Oakland University’s Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering, hopes for a career as a human factors specialist in a hospital or in the medical device industry. He is one of only two students nationwide to receive the 2012 Michael J. Miller Scholarship from the Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI)

Most recently, Konkani was appointed as a junior associate editor and member of the Student Advisory Board of the IEEE (Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers) Journal of Translational Engineering in Health and Medicine. With support from SECS Dean Louay Chamra and ISE Department Chair Robert Van Til, Konkani will receive his ACCE award this June at the AAMI Conference & Expo in Long Beach, Calif. 

For more information on programs in OU’s School of Engineering and Computer Science, visit the website at

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