During this season of giving Tensentric’s food drive engendered a spirit of competition too. The teams competed to see who could gather the most food and the Software Team came out on top with 1,252 pounds! That is more than all of Tensentric gave last year.
The company total this year was 2,443 pounds of food. That is almost 50 pounds per person! The Community Food Share people were overwhelmed and so thankful for the donation. Thanks to Sumi, Rob and Scott who helped load the food and Kendra for her coordination of the drive. Happy holidays to everyone from the Tensentric Rock Stars.
This summer, Tensentric sponsored 13 engineering students who participated in Engineering World Health’s (EWH) Summer Institute. They headed out for their summers in Rwanda, Tanzania, and Nepal, where they lived with host families and experienced a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. EWH has sent 700 students to third world countries since 2004. While there, they fixed 6,500 pieces of equipment, worth an estimated $13 million, getting the devices back to saving lives. The following article is a glimpse into the students summer through pictures and their update letters.
Engineering World Health students spent the first month as a group attending engineering lectures and lab classes specifically about medical device repair. In addition, conversational Swahili, Kinyarwanda, or Nepali language classes helped the students communicate with the locals, host families and hospital staff. Tanzania students also met and worked with students from local St Jude’s school. One student summed it up for many saying: “Before this program I would have been afraid to open any device without knowing exactly what to expect.” Another reported, “The professors were huge resources…I will stay in contact with for years to come.”
Once a week field trips to hospitals put the classwork into action, and allowed them a glimpse into what the next month on their own, at a specific hospital, would bring. One student claimed this as her favorite activity where they “could observe the challenges that hinder the use of the medical equipment”. From Tengeru Hospital in Tanzania to CHUK, Kabagamba and Muhima Hospitals in Rawanda, the students helped repair equipment and learned to communicate and assist without disrupting and judging in the hospital environment.
In addition to the classes and hospital field trips, EWH students used weekends off to explore the country they lived in and strengthen relationships with host families and the locals. Students used their new language skills in restaurants, markets and on public transportation. Some exciting side trips included natural areas like Mount Bisoke and Nyungwe National Park in Rwanda and Arusha National Park in Tanzania; and cities such as Kampala and Kigali in Rwanda. Not a minute of their time was wasted on this trip!
Students live with local host families which helps them get a feel for living in their host country. Whether staying with a newly married couple or a family, students mentioned they treasure memories of their hosts. “No dresser, but my homestay mom’s cooking was amazing and I miss it!” “My hosts showed me around and invited me to their church.” “The kids were lovely and always brought a smile to my face.” We taught the 1-year-old to walk, and I feel honored to be a part of this family’s memories.” It wasn’t all easy, but success and satisfaction were not hindered by dealing with stray dogs and crazy traffic, no toilet seat and cold water showers.
A sincere thank you goes out from EWH and Tensentric to our interns who gave up their summer to help others and make a difference in the world while enhancing their own education.
Savannah Bryce – Rwanda
Luke Drnach – Tanzania
Line Sofie Hald – Tanzania
Adelina Ramirez – Rwanda
Jade Olaoye – Rwanda
Anastasia Ray – Rwanda/Congo
Brian Matovu – Rwanda
Jeff Chininis – Rwanda
Cecilia Klitgaard Jorgensen – Tanzania
Os Nakayama - Tanzania
Faiaz Kabir – Tanzania
Breanna Brocklesby – Rwanda
Laxman Bhusal – Nepal
Tensentric’s non-project creativity challenge, AKA Halloween Costume contest, just got real! The results were close but the Free Lunch team (Jay, Justin, David and Ethan) received the most votes with Godzilla/Mothra (Bob and Mike) and Operation (Kevin, Sara, Keir, Kathleen, Kelsey and Susan) tied for second. And yes, he buzzed if you hit the edge!
Claire brought it with her LED pumpkin and won the individual prize. As usual the whole rock star team showed off their skills and enjoyed creepy food and drinks together with laughs and thoughts of costume ideas for next year. Until then the trophy, and bragging rights, belong to Free Lunch.
It was a gorgeous fall day for Tensentric’s 4th Annual Front Range Medical Device Oktoberfest. Chef Jackson Lamb created a feast from the traditional German fare with everything from brats to strudel. The Zero Doubt Brew Crew provided a stout beer, and there were plenty of other Oktoberfest beers to try. Rob provided his dad’s traditional music to finish the authentic feel .
Our rock star engineers and support staff enjoyed spending some time with clients (past, present, and future) for some fun conversation without deliverables and deadlines getting in the way. If you didn’t get an invite this year, send your email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tensentric took 2nd in the Belgian beer category with their 2-Sprint Saison at Colorado Startup Brews. Nice job Brew Crew! The event raised over $35,000 for the Dear Jack Foundation, served over 80 Craft Beers from 30+ Colorado startups and sold out, the third year in a row with 700+ attendees. The attendees enjoyed tasting quality brews and networking with other startups.
Check out more pics at the event web album. Read below for an interview with the Tensentric Brew Crew (Ethan, Jay, David, Kathleen, James, Mike and Ralph) about the teamwork and the beers:
What beers did you submit? We brewed two beers. The first is a single hop Mosaic IPA. We all really liked a couple commercial Mosaic IPAs so we decided to make our own. We call it Hoptimistic IPA because we are pretty optimistic that it is a winner. It sits around 6% abv, maybe around 60 IBUs, and has a really nice fruity hop flavor and aroma. The other beer is a revised version of our 2-Sprint Saison submitted last year. It scored pretty well and we received some really helpful feedback from the judges so we implemented the feedback and brewed it again. It is more of a heavy hitter around 9% abv and has a pretty classic Saison flavor, but is a bit more hopped.
What is your experience brewing? As a company, we’ve only been brewing for a year now, but individuals at the company have been brewing for 3-4 years. We made one beer not too long ago that we named Burnout IPA because it literally tasted and smelled like burnt rubber. Fortunately we won’t be submitting that one for feedback and no one else will have the displeasure of drinking it.
Who brewed the beer? A handful of us at Tensentric, known as the Brew Crew, brewed the beers both onsite and offsite. We actually just made a little fermentation chamber in one of our closets at the office to help us win the competition. It has only been coated with explosive beer a couple of times.
What is your favorite commercial beer to drink? Most of us are big beer fans and our tastes all vary, but there is never a shortage of Grapefruit Sculpin in our office fridge.
Besides go to Disney Land, what do you plan to do when you win the coveted Keg Tap? We’d probably all retire and live a life of luxury with the cash prize we get. Oh, and enjoy the fame. Definitely in it for the fame.
One fascinating thing about engineers is their desire to continuously learn and develop their skills. Tensentric helps satisfy that need by offering on-site lunch & learns. This month we focused on two topics.
The mechanical engineering and ID/UX/HF staff hosted a drawing class. Bob Smith, head ME reported that “This hands-on class, led by Gregg Harvey, a drawing instructor from the Design department at AIC (Art Institute of Colorado), emphasizes how hand-drawn sketches can be a quick, versatile and valuable tool for communicating ideas and concepts between development team members and clients.”
In addition, about 30 staff members at Tensentric, learned about CLIA and how to design with CLIA waived medical device parameters in mind. Although this is not new information to the HF staff, Tensentric believes that all design engineers benefit from staying current on their disciplines skill set as well as that of related engineering disciplines so teams all address a design project with common goals. The lecture and small group activity format helped the team understand the process a medical device goes through to qualify as CLIA Waived.
One astute participant commented, “This insight can factor into design brainstorming even when a product isn’t specifically going to be CLIA Waived since the principles revolve around simplicity and intuitiveness which all products can benefit from.” Can’t wait to see what next month’s topic will be!
Elise Edson, Senior User Experience & Human Factors Engineer, commented on the newly released human factors guidance. “Now that the FDA draft guidance is ‘final’, it gives Tensentric and our clients a lot more clarity on what’s required and expected for HFE. There was a lot of industry feedback!”
Read the full guidances here: Applying Human Factors and Usability Engineering to Medical Devices and, still in draft but comments are closed, List of Highest Priority Devices for Human Factors Review.
In addition, you can listen to a Webinar on Human Factors to Ensure Safe & User-Friendly Product Designs. The date and time are being updated, so check the registration website for current info. This webcast will show the wealth of guidance and reference information, and how you can get information to your engineering, design and development team at the right place and right time. Included in the talk will be details about:
Standards from leading standards developing organizations such as Human Factors and Ergonomics Society (HFES), ISO, SAE, AAMI.
Guidance and standards from leading regulatory agencies such as FDA and FAA
Best practices and hottest HF titles from the world’s leading publishers including John Wiley & Sons, Taylor & Francis, IET, ITG
Critical data from ISO working groups, including ISO TC159/SC1 – Ergonomic Guiding Principles WG5 Ergonomic Process Standards
Don’t worry, the company isn’t moving, but the employees are getting major steps on their company Fitbits! Tensentric employees enjoyed a gorgeous day and inspiring events around Colorado this past Memorial Day weekend. Read more about the races and check out the pics.
Brady Thompson ran in the Castle Rock Memorial Day Run & March which focuses on the true meaning of Memorial Day and benefits veterans still with us: “The Memorial Day Run & March invites civilians, Veterans, and uniformed Military to challenge themselves in friendly competition, while helping feed homeless Veterans.” Brady reports, “It was a lot of fun and a great chance to meet, thank and participate alongside many of the heroic men and women who have given so much of themselves for us. It was a very humbling and rewarding experience.”
Up North in the BolderBOULDER, 50,000+ participants, including Kevin Moynihan, Kathleen Kramer, Tonya Ambrose, Shari Nelson, Pete Valentyik, and Sara Little, walked/jogged/ran in one of the biggest road races in the country. Culminating in a ceremony honoring the soldiers who keep/kept our country free, people revel in 10K of crazy; catching marshmellows and doing slip and slides or belly dancing while trying to beat their best time. Thanks to the families & friends who supported our racers too (including Kendra Anderson)!
Tensentric’s Cinco de Mayo Celebration, catered by Jackson Lamb with margaritas concocted by Jamie Tabaka, gave the team a chance to enjoy some non-work time together. Thanks for coordinating a relaxing and tasty event Kendra and Jamie and for sponsoring Jeff and Wade.
The spring weather hung on so we could enjoy the patio, and Jackson’s food looked as good as it tasted.
Tensentric sponsored this year’s American Cancer Society (ACS) Relay for Life held April 1 in Boulder at the CU recreation center. The Tensentric team geared up for a fun night running/walking, including a few laps that pulled at the heartstrings (hope, survivor and remember).
Food, games and activities provided entertainment and built camaraderie within teams and with the other participants. The race took place from 7pm-7am with team members switching off to keep the team active through the night. The length and teams signify the long journey people with cancer go through and how having a team (and ACS) on their side helps them keep hope and rise to the challenge.
Tensentric’s team of 14 employees, family and friends supported teammates and their families who have lost loved ones to cancer. Overall, the 282 people on 72 teams raised $21,000 for a very worthy cause. Boulder’s June Relay for Life event is also being sponsored by Tensentric. To sign up a team, go to: the ACS website.
Tensentric declared March 3 a holiday and they headed to Mary Jane at Winter Park for “Ski Day”. It proved to be a perfect ski day. Gorgeous weather and soft snow awaited the 28 employees who made the 2-hour drive to ski and hang out. Thanks to Jeff and Wade for supporting this team building day out of the office.
Tensentric donated $18,000 to AVF as part of our Partners in Caring program with Volcano, the global leader in intravascular imaging for coronary and peripheral applications. The presentation was made at the American Venous Forum (AVF) annual meeting in Orlando by Tonya Ambrose, Tensentric Marketing Manager, and David Goodman, Phillips/Volcano Associate Director of Global Market Development. Partners in Caring gives one dollar for each hour worked to charity each year.
The companies also discussed their interest in managing venous disease by developing medical devices to combat the hurdles doctors face caring for these patients. The American Venous Forum Foundation Board of Directors, including AVFF President, Dr. Fedor Lurie and AVF President, Dr. John Blebea, Past President, Dr. Lowell Kabnick, and Administrative Council Chair, Dr. Elna Masuda, graciously accepted the check noting that the money would help support their mission of improving health care of patients with venous and lymphatic disorders through awareness, education and innovative research.
Dr. Lowell Kabnick, Dr. Fedor Lurie, Tonya Ambrose, David Goodman, Dr. John Blebea, Dr. Elna Masuda
Tensentric was happy to host the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society’s Rocky Mountain chapter Human Factors MeetUp group last night. Our own human factors specialist Elise Edson is serving as the Rocky Mountain HFES president this year. The turnout was great, with 42 people attending a presentation by human factors expert Dr. Christopher Wickens on “Computational Models of Attention.”
Christopher Wickens was Head of the Aviation Human Factors Division at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign from 1983 -2005. He is currently working part time for Alion Science: MA&D Operations. He received a B.A. from Harvard College in Physical Sciences in 1967. He received a M.A. from the University of Michigan in Psychology in 1969. For over 30 years Chris Wickens’ research has focused on engineering performance and human factors. He has published over 200 articles and authored eight books, including “Engineering Psychology and Human Performance” (1984), “Introduction to Human Factors Engineering” (1997), and “Applied Attention Theory” (2007).
Tensentric will host a workshop with the Medical Technology UX/HF Meetup group on March 9th. Watch our LinkedIn and Facebook pages for more details.
1. Elise kicked off the Meetup presentation after some time for food, drinks and networking.
2. Dr. Wickens presenting to the group.
3. Jason Belaire, IDSA Western District Vice President, was the winner of our second door prize, a remote-controlled fish! Angie Sebok, Social Media Chair for the Rocky Mountain chapter of HFES, was the winner of the other door prize, a NERF dart gun.
Tensentric celebrated our 7th Anniversary in January! After a rocking party at the Riverhouse in Boulder on Saturday night, we are ready to get down to another year of designing new and better medical devices for our amazing clients.
It is exciting to continue working with key customers on new projects after successful launches. Fortunately, we are growing and we still have room to work on projects for new clients too.
Here’s to another year of challenging design and development work for our seasoned staff. Cheers!
The 2016 EWH-Tensentric Design Competition invites students to submit innovative designs for life-saving medical technology that can make a difference in low-resource settings. Design Teams can choose to work on any project relevant to the medical instrumentation needs of resource-poor areas.
“We usually get about 15 teams from universities around the world (2015 3rd place was from Australia) competing for prestige, honor—and a cash prize. We give out the awards at a plenary session held at the Annual BMES meeting.” explained Leslie J. Calman, Chief Executive Officer, Engineering World Health.
Jeff Gentry, Tensentric COO, will be on the panel of judges selected from industry and academia. Prizes are $3,000 to the first place team’s university; $1,000 to the 2nd place and $500 to the third place winners. For more information about the contest click here.
Dates to note are:
Proposal submission to receive optional EWH feedback & discount registration price - Deadline Feb. 14
Project submission; full registration price - Deadline May 30
Results announced on EWH website — July 30
Awards given out at 2016 BMES Annual Meeting in Minneapolis — October 5–8
Our final donation for 2015 has special meaning. Tensentric gave $10,000 to the American Cancer Society (ACS) for hours worked on the Inovio Pharmceutical project. ACS was chosen to honor the memory of Don Smith’s wife Shelly, who passed away in 2015 due to cancer.
Don was the first Project Director hired by Tensentric and has been a valuable member of our team since 2009. In addition to Tensentric’s connection with cancer fighting, Inovio’s efforts around DNA immunotherapies are revolutionizing the fight against cancers and infectious diseases. Visit www.inovio.com for more info.
The check was presented at Tensentric’s monthly staff meeting in an emotional presentation made by owners Jeff Gentry and Wade Lukianow. In conjunction with the donation, Tensentric is putting together a Relay for Life team to run in honor of Shelly Smith. We’ll share more about that as the race gets closer.
Tensentric’s Jeff Gentry and Wade Lukianow, along with Don Smith, give ACS’s Alli Ballow, and Nicole Dalby the big check.
Steve Kemmerrer and Beat Stadelmanna from Inovio’s team, receive an honorary big check from Wade Lukianow, Jeff Gentry, & Cathy Mancuso at the Inovio site in San Diego.