Cliff Brubaker-Quality of Life Technology Center - Carnegie Mellon University

Cliff Brubaker

brubaker photo

Health Sciences
University of Pittsburgh
Forbes Tower 4029
cliffb @

Clifford E. Brubaker, Ph.D., has served as professor and dean of the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh since 1991. He is professor of Rehabilitation Science, Neurological Surgery and Regenerative Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh. Professor Brubaker is also adjunct professor at the Xian Jiaotong University, Xian, Peoples Republic of China. He currently serves as academic advisor to the Department of Rehabilitation Science of the Hong Kong Polytechnic University. Professor Brubaker received his Ph.D. degree in 1968 in exercise physiology from the University of Oregon. His scholarly work has been concentrated in biomechanics and rehabilitation engineering at the University of Oregon, University of Virginia (UVA) and University of Pittsburgh (Pitt). He has served as director or co-director of three rehabilitation engineering research centers at UVA and Pitt from 1987 to 2004. Professor Brubaker is a founding member, Fellow and former president of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA), a founding Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering (AIMBE) and Fellow in the inaugural class of the Biomedical Engineering Society.
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"I joined the fledgling Rehabilitation Engineering Center at the University of Virginia in 1976 to conduct research on the biomechanics of wheelchair propulsion. In the course of nearly 30 years working in the field of rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology I have experienced the exhilaration of advances in technology that have resulted in life-changing options and opportunities for people with disabilities. I have also experienced disappointment over too many well-intentioned but misguided efforts that have consumed scarce resources without producing meaningful results. Success in the development of technology requires technical competence and imagination, but more important it depends on a thorough appreciation and understanding of disabilities, people with disabilities, environment, costs, regulations, policies and other limiting factors. Some remarkable engineering accomplishments have resulted in dismal failures from lack of awareness and appreciation limitations posed by these factors.

I believe that the prospective ERC program is the result of a unique blend of talent and experience that combines the best in engineering, science and technology with consummate understanding and appreciation of the relevant social, cultural, behavioral, regulatory, eco­nomic and environmental considerations. I do not believe that such a program has ever been crafted to address the burgeoning issues of aging and disability. The prestige of an NSF ERC Award for Technology for Quality of Life will constitute a unique and unprecedented level of support and recognition for this field of endeavor."