Drs Robinson and Conry working with a student

The Center for Rehabilitation Engineering, Science and Technology (CREST) is a multidisciplinary research and educational initiative, covering the following:

  • A balanced academic exposure to the medical, social and psychological aspects of disability and its remediation ("rehabilitation")
  • Current knowledge about the pathophysiology of disability and new research tools to investigate it ("rehabilitation science")
  • Analytical processes to model the impairment and its functional limitations;
  • The design and development of acceptable augmentation or replacement devices, strategies or concepts ("rehabilitation engineering")
  • Real-world design, provisioning, marketing of and training in the use, psychology and sociology of such devices ("rehabilitation technology")

CREST was established as a new initiative at Clarkson University in the field of bioengineering and rehabilitation engineering. CREST is one of the five distinct, yet related, priority research and programmatic expansions funded by a $30 million grant — the largest gift in the history of Clarkson University — from the Wallace H. Coulter Foundation.


CREST, with a multidisciplinary, University-wide link between engineering, the biosciences, business and health sciences resources, will help Clarkson University to

  • Develop into a national leader
  • Attract substantial new philanthropic and research funding
  • Provide a superior and unique educational experience
  • Bring in de novo outstanding undergraduate and graduate students
  • Have talented faculty work across discipline boundaries
  • Become the source of choice for hires in the biomedical engineering/biomedical science areas
  • Educate, mentor and train students to be able to integrate and apply a combined scientific, analytical, technological and business approach to emerging biomedical engineering and biomedical science areas.
  • Provide a nurturing center environment that supports and promotes synergistic, multidisciplinary research and educational activities in focused biomedical engineering and biomedical science areas.

Current Research

The focus of CREST is spread across The Coulter School of Engineering, the School of Arts and Sciences, and the Center for Health Professions, with a strong link with Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Hospital in Allentown.

Areas of research focus include:

  • neural engineering
  • biomolecular engineering
  • biosensors
  • biosignal processing
  • computational biology
  • biomaterials
  • bioinformatics
  • biometrics
  • bio-entrepreneurship
Rehabilitation Engineering

Rehabilitation engineering spans the entire engineering and research spectrum:

Drs Caroll and Fulp working with a student on an assistive device.
  • From basic science, to mathematical models and sophisticated simulations/analyses
  • From device design, to clinical trials
  • From mechanical, electrical, industrial and materials engineering, to industrial design
  • From measurement theory, to human factors and quality control
  • From clinical practice, to the socioeconomic worth of technology

Institute of Medicine's '97 report, Enabling America, noted the following:

Rehabilitation engineering, science and technology education is hampered by a lack of clinically relevant, but engineering-based teaching materials, laboratory experiences and examples. At this point in the evolution of the science, there is a sufficient knowledge base and level of research to organize a rigorous scientific structure for the field. Such organization would accelerate multidisciplinary education, training and research, all of which would combine to advance the field of rehabilitation science and engineering and more effectively address the needs of people with disabling conditions.

Biomedical Engineering, Biomedical Science and Bio-Entrepreneurship

A biomedical engineering/biomedical science focus leads to a unique and synergistic approach, especially when entrepreneurship is added as a key ingredient.

  • Focus on current science, engineering, technology and the market place.
  • Students at Clarkson University receive sought after cross-disciplinary training.
  • University-wide endeavor, crossing the purview of all the major schools and centers of the University.
  • Bio-entrepreneurship partners engineering senior design capstone courses with the Business School.

Collaborating Departments & Partners

Collaborating Departments

The Center for Rehabilitation Engineering & Science partners with The Good Shepard Rehabilitation Hospital in Allentown, Pennsylvania, and the Syracuse VA Medical Center in Syracuse, New York.