Walter Young   2015 Distinguised Services Award

The Institute of Biomedical Engineering (IBME) is a research institute within the University of New Brunswick. Founded in 1965 as the "Bio-Engineering Institute", the IBME has evolved to become a world renowned, multi-disciplinary research unit involved in a broad spectrum of activities in biomedical engineering.

Since 1982, the Institute has provided a limb fitting service for clients throughout Atlantic Canada. Our Atlantic Clinic for Upper Limb Prosthetics offers state-of-the-art upper-limb prosthetic hardware and a multi-disciplinary team based approach, providing novel solutions to myoelectric prosthetic fittings. The clinic team is also involved in providing clinical services to non-amputees with complex upper-limb pathologies. The clinical team provides service to over 130 clients and also provides clinic support to the research undertaken at the IBME.

Walter Young’s position as Senior Prosthetics Research Technician at the IBME involved many responsibilities. They included the design, fabrication, troubleshooting, and repair of prosthetic systems.   This position also involved the efficient and productive operation of the prosthetic shop with the aim of providing the highest quality in prosthetic devices and service to our clients.  Walter established and maintained a close professional relationship with manufacturers, suppliers, staff, students, clients and their families.

Though he has recently retired, Walter’s impact on the faculty, staff and students at the IBME continues to be a source of guidance and inspiration. His willingness to tackle complex problems and his meticulous attention to detail were only matched by his integrity and professionalism that serves as a benchmark for all future generations.

read by Greg Bush
Institute of Biomedical Engineering
April 13, 2015

Letter of Support

I am writing to support the nomination of Walter Young for a UNB President’s Medal. It is my privilege and pleasure to do so.

I have known Walter for the past 3 years in my capacity as a graduate student at UNB, where Walter has served as a Prosthetics Research Technician at the UNB’s Institute of Biomedical Engineering. He has for more than two decades now been involved in the clinical care and provision of prosthetic arms and related specialty devices for children and adults with limb loss. He has also been actively sought out as a trusted resource by many engineers and research professionals for his ability to ground academic research efforts in the prosthesis user’s reality. It is through his guidance and by his example that I have been able to pursue my own academic goals, to focus my work and achieve what I set out to do.

As a mentor, Walter has provided me with numerous opportunities to work and shadow him in the prosthetics workshop, an environment that has sharpened my own hands-on skills and given me an understanding and appreciation for the work Walter and other prosthetic technicians like him do. He has served, and continues to serve, as a role model for me and for other students. His innovative nature and his willingness to teach those around him have benefited many who have had the privilege to work alongside him during his years of service to the University and to the community. Though I am still in the nascent stages of my career, Walter has given me a giant head start.

I consider Walter a colleague of the utmost character, who has always treated everyone with courtesy and respect. His talent, his generosity, is only matched by his humility. Even today he continues to tell me that his free advice is worth what you pay for it. I’ll be paying him back for years.

Ali Hussaini
Institute of Biomedical Engineering