Former Members

Jasmine Yonkers, Adjunct Administrative Professional

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Jasmine is the administrator for aMDI. She is also an undergraduate student at Grand Valley. Here at aMDI Jasmine does admin work ranging from budget, website updates, meeting coordinating, social media posting, etc. She joined aMDI in September 2022, and is excited to be apart of the team.

In her free time Jasmine enjoys reading, running, and hanging out with family and friends.

Brent Nowak, Ph.D., Executive Director

Brent Nowak's Headshot

Dr. Brent M. Nowak, PhD is the founding Executive Director of the applied Medical Device Institute at Grand Valley State University.  aMDI is a non-academic unit of the College of Engineering and Computing that provides doctoral-level, multi-disciplinary engineering analysis, design, fabrication, and testing of emerging medical devices and science at the pace of industry, while serving a broad range of clients from the healthcare to medical device manufacturing industries.

Over the last 30 years, Dr. Nowak has led product and technology development programs spanning ideation through commercialization; field use and application in areas including robotic systems, autonomous underwater vehicles and medical devices; and entrepreneurial ventures in formation, pre-seed, and seed stages that have been successfully transitioned to industry. 

His career has been a balance between academia and industry, as Dr. Nowak proudly works in the “applied” research domain where almost 90% of his work today is in industrial, military, or commercial use. A number of his developments have been in the medical device arena, and have resulted in eight patents; several of these developments are in active licensing negotiations, resulting in the incubation of a new medical device company, OrthoForge.  Dr. Nowak is a successful founder, CEO, and/or principal of numerous life sciences and medical device start-ups. 

Prior to his position at Grand Valley State University, Dr. Nowak was the founding Director of the Robotics and Intelligent Machines laboratory at the University of Texas at San Antonio; was the Assistant Director of the Manufacturing Systems Department at the Southwest Research Institute (SwRI); and a US Space Shuttle Flight Controller at the Johnson Space Center.  Dr. Nowak has been a returning Research Fellow at the US Army Institute of Surgical Research/Fort Sam Houston and at the US Naval Undersea Warfare Center – Newport, Rhode Island for four years.

Renzo Garza Motta, Electrical Engineer

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Renzo is an undergraduate student at Grand Valley, pursuing a degree in Electrical Engineering. At aMDI Renzo has worked on many projects ranging from product documentation to design. As a lab engineer, he can apply his skills in a variety of ways. Currently, he is working on developing a platform to view and interact with live biofeedback without the need of external components. Renzo will be graduating next year from the engineering program and hopes to pursue a career in embedded systems design and application.

In his free time Renzo enjoys learning how to do new things within engineering, watching movies, playing video games, and playing games with his friends.

Katie Tellier, Lab Assistant

Katie Tellier Headshot

Katie is an undergraduate student at Michigan State University, pursuing a medical degree. Here at aMDI she is a biomedical engineering student intern. Since she is pursuing a medical degree, she serves as the researcher for many of the projects here at aMDI. One project that Katie has been working on at aMDI, that s still in its premature phase, is a device that would interpret hands signing ASL into verbal language sentences.

In her free time Katie can be found at the gym, cooking extravagant healthy meals, and/or with her family and friends.

Brendan Beauchamp, Computer Engineer

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Brendan Beauchamp is an undergraduate student pursuing his degree in Computer Engineering. Ever since Brendan was a little kid, he has been reading his Mom’s Medical text books and learning about the body in his free time. He was empowered when he saw the aMDI laboratories and the opportunity to implement design thinking into medical devices. He is deeply inspired by both autonomous design and  kinesiology, while his professional field of interest is Computer Hardware Engineering. He recently published his first paper integrating sEMG for Human Interface Devices to IEEE and aspires to continue this research in graduate school.

In his free time I design and play musical instruments, hike, and research in the fields of evolutionary computation and kinesiology.

Soni Jha, Software Engineer

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Soni Jha is a graduate student at Grand Valley State University, pursuing Master of Science Degree in Computer Information Systems with specialization in Biomedical Informatics and expects to graduate in April of 2020. Prior to this, Soni worked as a lecturer of Mathematics at University level in India as well as in Dubai. She completed her first Masters program in Computer Science from Mumbai University (India) and a Bachelors Degree in Information science from Visveswaraya Technological University (Bangalore, India). At aMDI, she works as a Software Engineer and is eager and passionate about learning trending technologies and utilizing it to contribute towards the goal of the organization.

Apart from programming, she also has an inclination towards painting and travelling.  

Aldo Fanelli, Mechanical Engineer

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Aldo Fanelli was a graduate student at aMDI and graduated in April 2019 from the M.S.E/ B.S.E program with an emphasis in Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering.  His duties at aMDI included general assistance with device research and development (R&D), and implementation especially as it pertained to the 3D Additive Manufacturing. He recently completed an engineering internship with MedPlast, a contract medical device manufacturer in the area.

Outside of school and work, he enjoys working out and digital photography, and he formerly played intramural football, basketball, and soccer.

Spencer Adamczyk, Lab Assistant

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Spencer Adamczyk is a undergraduate student at Grand Valley State University in his second year, studying Biology with an emphasis in Education. Spencer's main responsibilities include 3-D modeling in SolidWorks for design concepts, researching, and time management.

At aMDI, Spencer has done multiple research projects and aided in the development of testing fixtures for a variety of projects, using his growing education in biology to document and develop new testing procedures. Additionally, this allowed for Spencer to assist in research for new areas of development in each project, aiding in time management and project ideation.

Noah Keefer, Product Design and Manufacturing Engineer

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Noah Keefer is an undergraduate student at Grand Valley State University. He is currently pursuing his bachelor’s degree in Product Design and Manufacturing Engineering with a Design emphasis and expects to graduate in the Winter of 2020. He is interested in product development, sustainability in engineering, and overall improving his skills in the creative process. A previous role as an assistant to the Laboratory Supervisor of the Keller Engineering Laboratories of GVSU provided Noah with extensive knowledge in the operation of mills, lathes, and other machine shop equipment to assist students and professors in the development of prototypes for research and senior projects. 

Noah’s responsibilities as part of the aMDI team include the mechanical design and fabrication of relevant components specific to each project. He is experienced with solving a wide variety of problems and needs presented by clients. This includes preliminary sketches, 3D design, and prototyping of designs created by the team. These experiences have helped him excel in creative thinking and problem solving. Skills that he has gained while working with aMDI include: proficiency in SolidWorks (CAD, CAM, FEA, and rendering of 3D models), design for 3D additive manufacturing, rapid prototyping using a wide variety of fabrication strategies, and testing procedures involving force analysis, accelerated aging, and analysis of mechanical properties. 

In his free time, Noah enjoys backpacking and traveling. He has backpacked in Arizona, Utah, Kentucky, New York, North Carolina, and various locations in Michigan. 

Featured Team Member of February 2019

Recodeo Rekod, Computer Engineer

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Recodeo Rekod is an aMDI Alumni and recent graduate of Grand Valley State University - April 2020. He received his Master of Science in Computer Information System with an emphasis in Bioinformatics. He has also completed his undergraduate degree in Computer Science at GVSU. As a graduate assistant at aMDI, he performed research in machine learning and worked on a variety of different projects in order to apply these skills. 

Lear Brougher, Mechanical & Biomedical Engineer

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Lear Brougher is an aMDI alumni and recent graduate of Grand Valley State University - April 2020, where he was involved in the Articulated M.S.E/ B.S.E program and received his Bachelors in Mechanical and his Master’s in Biomedical Engineering. He has a fond interest in the medical industry since he had surgery and is looking forward to applying his education and learned skills in this industry. He has always been interested in the product and medical device area of the industry and how people go from Idea to a finished product.  At aMDI, he worked on general assistance with device research and development (R&D), and a UV project

John Doneth, Software Engineer

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John C. Doneth is an undergraduate student at Grand Valley State University. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor’s Degree in Computer Science and has been studying programming since he was a kid. He currently works as a Software Developer at aMDI.

John has worked on many open source projects. He has spent extensive time developing applications written in native programming languages such as C, C++11, C++14, and Rust. As well as developing mobile applications on Android with Java. He also has experience working as a full stack developer for web applications and websites with technologies such as Node.js. Finally, he also has experience using various other languages such as, C#, Python, Typescript, Lua, etc, where needed.

Garrett Graves, Software Developer and Engineer

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Garrett Graves is the Software Developer and Engineer for aMDI. He is also pursuing a Computer Information Systems degree at Grand Valley State University with the goal of working for a Fortune 500 company as a CIO. Garrett was raised in Brighton, Michigan and has been coding and building computers since he was 12 years old.  His responsibilities at aMDI include designing, implementing and programming software based on a specific clients needs. Garrett's extensive history of programming make him especially equipped to deal with these tasks.

Garret's interests are programming, music, cars and working out.

Nichola Groselak, Product Design and Manufacturing Engineer

Nicholas Groselak

Nick Groselak is an undergraduate student at Grand Valley State pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Product Design and Manufacturing Engineering with an emphasis in Product Design. 

Nick is from Lemont, IL where he found his interest in working with engineering machinery and being a hands-on learner. Nick is interested in the design of everyday items along with medical equipment. He hopes to help make a difference in people’s lives through his work at aMDI. 

Outside of work, Nick likes to stay active and learn new hobbies. He enjoys playing basketball and golf during his free time.

Patrick Schwab, Mechanical Engineer

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Patrick Schwab is an undergraduate student at Grand Valley State University pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Product Design and Manufacturing Engineering and plans to combine this pursuit with a master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering. 

Patrick is from Minneapolis, MN and earned a Certificate of Applied Science in Computer Aided Design from The University of Montana. Prior to aMDI, Patrick worked for a dental hand tool manufacturer where he grew an interest in product development which led him to the PDM program at GVSU. Patrick is interested in leveraging new technologies to create innovative solutions to the problems that medical professionals and their patients face. He is motivated by bringing the designs he models in SolidWorks to life, using traditional and additive manufacturing methods.

Outside of work Patrick likes to be active and get outside. He enjoys playing hockey, biking, kayaking, and backpacking and looks forward to exploring the trails in the area.

Ryan Lubbers, Mechanical Engineer

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Ryan Lubbers is an articulated B.S.E./M.S.E. student pursuing his Bachelor's in Mechanical Engineering and Master's in Biomedical Engineering. He grew up in the greater Grand Rapids area in an engineering family and always has liked figuring out how things worked as well as learning about new technologies. His background is primarily in manual and CNC machining processes and custom component design. Biomedical Engineering gives the opportunity to directly help people on a daily basis in their life, which he has experienced first hand. He also really enjoys researching different topics and "outside-the-box" problem solving leading to his interest in the R&D side of the biomedical industry.

Outside of school he has a vast array of hobbies including photography (macro, landscape, automotive), herpetology, customizing and restoring cars, playing guitar, and hiking. All of which he uses to further gain new skills and experience.

Evan Boardway, Computer Engineer

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Evan Boardway is an undergraduate student at Grand Valley State University pursuing a bachelor's degree in Computer Science with the goal of starting a career in the Cyber Security field.

Evan was raised in Farmington HIlls, Michigan where he gained an interest in how everyday devices worked. From there, he not only learned about software and web development but also the inner workings of cyber security which ultimately led him to GVSU. Evan's responsibilities at aMDI include implementing as well as designing software for specific needs.

In his free time Evan enjoys playing competitive soccer, producing music and going for road trips.

Preyan Choudhuri, Marketing Specialist


Preyan Choudhuri completed her MS in Marketing from Texas A&M University. Prior to coming to the U.S. for her higher studies, she attained her BBA with dual major in Finance and International Business from Bangladesh.

As the Health Sciences & Engineering Marketing Specialist, she played a leading role in the development and management of aMDI's marketing strategies and plans, focused on the objectives of building a cohesive messaging and market positioning strategy, strengthening the institute's brand in the health sciences sector and generating awareness and prospective clients. She functioned across multiple disciplines, including digital marketing, content/ thought leadership creation, product development, public relations, event marketing and client marketing assistance for, both, applied Medical Device Institute and Padnos College of Engineering and Computing.

Jonathon Vinsko, Electrical and Software Engineer


Jon Vinsko participated in GVSU's Articulated Bachelor Master Program and graduated with, both, a Master of Science in Electrical and Computer Engineering and a Bachelor of Science in Computer Engineering, in Fall 2018.

He was a former employee at Twisthink in Holland. He specializes in software, namely Python, C, and C++. At aMDI, he worked with embedded systems, including software and PCB designs. He plans to pursue the field of Artificial Intelligence with his degrees. His thesis was in the field of Machine Learning. In his free time, he enjoys working on his computer that he built and gaming with it. He was also the president of GVSU's Ski and Snowboard team after being on it for five years.

Featured Team Member of July 2018

Jacob Gonser, Software Development Intern


Jacob Gonser graduated from Grand Valley School of Computing and Information Systems in Fall 2018. Jacob has experience in software programming in Java and C++ and is familiar with Python and SQL.

At aMDI, he used to work on Internal Research and Development, as well as, Data Consolidation. In his free time, Jacob enjoys playing soccer, movie critiquing with his friends, and gaming.

Featured Team Member of September 2018

Kevin Weaver, Engineer


Kevin Weaver is a graduate of the Grand Valley Padnos School of Engineering. Graduating in 2016 underneath Dr. Brent Nowak, he completed his degree in the development of signal analysis and processing tools. He began working at aMDI shortly afterwards, taking on the responsibilities of organizing the lab space, managing the working hours of other new hires, set-up and maintenance of the website, and principle engineer for several ongoing projects.

Kevin Weaver has experience in several areas of industry as well as academia. Underneath Dr. Tao Yang of Van Andel Research Institute, Kevin was the principle engineer of operations for the force transducer in the bone and tumor metastasis lab. He was the lead of operations in the use of the micro-CT machine, using the data gathered to perform engineering calculations on mice bones. These calculations predicted the mechanical properties of various mice line bones, showing phenotypical changes in mice brought on by genetic alterations.

Maruf Hossain, Mechanical Engineer


Maruf Hossain is from Bangladesh and completed his bachelor's degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology. At present, he is pursuing a master's in Mechanical Engineering at Grand Valley State University.

As an engineer, he is inclined towards designing conceptual products into functional prototypes as a part of product design. His Computer Aided Manufacturing skills can be effectively used in the product development phase where, often, constraints are very strict. He joined aMDI as a Graduate Research Assistant on January, 2017, and worked as a Mechanical Engineering Intern during the summer of 2017. Maruf worked on projects requiring 3D modeling designs, rapid prototyping & testing at aMDI, and attended client meetings as the projects progressed towards completion.

Andrew Heuerman, Business Graduate


Andrew Heuerman, a graduate of Grand Valley State University with a Bachelor's in Clinical Exercise Science along with an added curriculum of entrepreneurship. His responsibilities at aMDI involved the collection and analysis of business and sales models for various products developed and researched for development. He also was concerned with generating and improving business charts for future production of products. 

While studying at Grand Valley State University he competed on the Men’s Varsity tennis team for all four years, named team Co-captain for two years and individual team captain his Senior year. Andrew worked on a student lead entrepreneurship team developing an external female urinary device collector for the past year and a half. During this time he competed in the business pitch competitions MWest as well as TCU Values and Ventures national business pitch competition where his team earned 4th place.

Joseph Kissling, Engineer


Joseph Kissling graduated from the University of Texas with a Master's in Mechanical Engineering and Minor in Geology. He furthered his education underneath Brent Nowak, Ph.D, at Grand Valley State University, currently working on defending his Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering. 

Joseph has worked on many projects in the past involving the research, design, and fabrication of many different tools and devices both in mechanical and biomedical areas, for clients ranging from GVSU to the DoD. These projects have given him an exceptional knowledge base in rapid prototyping, SolidWorks design, Matlab coding, Machining, and data analysis. His current project is his Masters thesis, where the goal is to augment astronaut gloves using a robotic exoskeleton. The work involves creating a mathematical model as well as construction of the actual system. He is also working on a machine vision project for Surge Cardiovascular to aid in manufacturing and a controller for Michigan Instruments to help test a prototype machine for CPR.

Dayna McIntyre, Engineering Student


Dayna McIntyre is a graduate of Grand Valley State University, where she studied mechanical engineering. On semesters that she did not take classes full time, she worked full time as a Manufacturing and Project Engineer at Vention Medical, a global contract manufacturing company for medical devices.

Main responsibilities included assisting with production support and process improvement projects, drafting component / process specifications and protocols, building product prototypes or samples, performing product testing, gathering data and analysis, contributing to process equipment design and installation as well as new product launches. In the fall of 2016 Dayna will also conducted research alongside Amy Lenz regarding the understanding and improvement of socket design for trans tibial amputees. Here, Dayna's main responsibility was accurately modeling the portion of the leg and the associated loading in FEBio in order to better understand the stresses and strains a leg undergoes in current prosthetic designs.

Alyssa Schaefbauer, Engineer


Alyssa Schaefbauer graduated from the University of Texas with a Bachelor's of Science in Mechanical Engineering. Following her graduation, she chose to continue her education at Grand Valley School of Engineering for a Master's Degree in Mechanical Engineering. Though a student, she also took on the role of mentor to several students through her Graduate Assistance work.

Alyssa has experience working on multiple projects across her academic career. Notable examples include SolidWorks modeling and redrawing of existing schedules, part fabrication using milling, CNC, and lathe controls. Of particular note is her Senior Design project, done in collaboration with NASA engineers through the Texas Space Grant Consortium. She led a team of undergraduate engineers to build a lumbar therapy device through design, fabrication, and testing. The project was a success, leading to recognition across the state and above other competing schools in Texas. This was furthered with collaboration with business students for entrepreneurial opportunities. 

Brooks Schaefer, Engineer


Brooks graduated from the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) where he received his bachelors of science in mechanical engineering. Upon graduation he moved to Grand Rapids, Michigan to attend Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and completed his masters in mechanical engineering.

His first position in the engineering field was as a research assistant for UTSA in the Robotics and Intelligent Machines Laboratory. This lab developed a multitude of biomedical device prototypes to convey the foundation of project proposals. His first position, outside of research, was as an intern for InCube Labs in San Antonio. InCube Labs is a startup company for biomedical devices where he converted hand drawn designs to CAD drawings in SolidWorks. He also spent extensive time in the machine shop fabricating small parts out of titanium and stainless steel with a manual mill and lathe at high tolerances. After moving to Grand Rapids, he began working for GVSU as a graduate teaching assistant and would keep this position until his graduation. He found additional employment at OrthoForge, LLC as the Project Manager in Engineering for the prototype development of a device which aids in bone restoration. Concurrently, he was hired as an engineering consultant through NRG, LLC where he conducted product research and development for biomedical devices. He also began a small company with a fellow mechanical engineering student called Angel Arms, LLC. This company is based on a product designed to passively aid children with Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) by supporting their arms and increasing their range of motion.

Pranav Sreedharan Veliyara, Image Processing Engineer


Pranav graduated from Amrita University (AU), India, with a bachelor’s degree in Electronics and Communications Engineering. He then completed his master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering at Grand Valley.

Pranav was an image processing engineer at aMDI. His fields of interest are digital signal processing, image processing, and electronic circuit designing. His thesis, ‘Visualization of cardiac excitation and PVC arrhythmia on a 3D heart model’ was a totally new approach to visualize the cardiac potential movement along a set of conduction pathways. Over the years, he was also involved in various sensor based medical device design and embedded system projects. Apart from the projects and research at GVSU, he has 2 years of research experience at Humanitarian Technology Lab, AU where he worked on various motor controlled device design projects. During the course of the education at AU and GVSU, he developed a strong set of expertise in various microcontroller programming, analog and digital circuit designing, PCB layout, MATLAB programming, C programming and digital signal processing.

Maxwell Granitz, Social Media Intern

Maxwell Granitz

Maxwell Granitz is an undergraduate student at Grand Valley State University. He is currently pursuing his Bachelor's Degree in Writing. Graduating in April, Maxwell plans to move to New York City, and work full-time while studying for his GRE. Maxwell specializes in professional communication, graphic and web design, and social media management. In his free time, Maxwell is active in the performing arts and LGBTQ+ advocacy.

His responsibilities at aMDI included maintaining the Institute's social media accounts and website.

Janis Coleman-Plouff, Office Coordinator


Janis has more than 10 years of project management, office management, event coordination, customer service and clerical experience in higher education and corporate environments. She has supported executive offices and faculty leadership groups at several universities, including Grand Valley State University, Michigan Technological University, and Northern Michigan University. Coleman-Plouff has also had project management, data analyst, and customer support roles at industrial and for-profit organizations including Attwood Corporation, Farmers Insurance, and Quality Resource Group.

Rachel Welscott, High School Intern


Rachel Welscott  worked at the aMDI in her senior year at Grandville High School as an intern. She now attends Vanderbilt University in Nashville, TN with a major in biomedical engineering and a minor in engineering management. Her goal is to attain a Master's degree in biomedical engineering. In nine years, Rachel wants to be working at a prosthetic design company, or to be working on devices to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities. Rachel has worked with an organization called Go, Baby, Go where she designed and adapted toy ride-along cars for kids with disabilities. 

Her main responsibilities at aMDI included assisting with experiments, testing, and researching. She also helped to brainstorm and design 3D models to improve testing efficiency and accuracy on SolidWorks. 

Page last modified October 12, 2023