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Prosthetics Club: bridging engineering with the practical

In an inspiring blend of theory and application, Brandeis University students are coming together to re-establish the prosthetics club that had diminished during the COVID-19 period. Unified and restarted by students in engineering, they come together to establish a noble long-term goal: creating prosthetic limbs for those in need. The Brandeis Hoot spoke with the Prosthetics Club, led by Robert Cooper ’26, the president and re-founder, and Avery Bishop ’27, the vice president. Their aim is to bridge the gap between engineering and real-world application.

Robert explains the club’s rebirth amidst the challenges posed by the pandemic. “The club existed a couple of years ago but died out during COVID,” he shares. The duo’s shared engineering class last semester sparked the revival. “Everyone had talked about wanting to restart the club, and eventually, the opportunity just came,” Robert adds, highlighting the collaborative spirit driving the club’s return. Avery clarifies the current status of their efforts: “You could say it’s in an unofficial club status right now. We’re hoping to get on probationary soon,” she says, outlining the steps towards official recognition, including a probationary period with emergency funding and the eventual goal of becoming a chartered club with a full budget.

The club’s mission is straightforward. “We build prosthetics. We print parts that we make into prosthetics,” Robert describes. Through utilizing pre-existing models found online, then assembling and modifying them to fit individuals through kits. This hands-on approach allows club members to engage directly with the technology and the craft of building prosthetics, a new experience outside the typical engineering class. The club’s ultimate, long term goal is impactful: fitting prosthetics to people who need them.

While the initiative is strong, the club faces challenges, particularly in maintaining members and participation. “The biggest challenge currently is retaining people’s interest,” Avery admits. Despite a promising start with significant interest and sign-ups at the club fair, the club is working on strategies to keep members engaged and involved, while also notifying the Brandeis community of the existence of the club. 

Avery outlines a blend of instruction and hands-on activity during a typical meeting session. “I like to make slides sometimes, especially if there’s something specific that we want to teach,” she says. With welcome arms to beginners, or even students who are not engineering-oriented, Robert and Avery confirm that the doors to the Maker Lab are always (metaphorically) open. The club touches on various areas, from teaching new members about 3D printing to assembling prosthetic parts, and the club’s sessions are rich with learning and doing. 

Looking forward, Robert envisions a club that not only excels in building prosthetics but also becomes a diverse community open to all students, regardless of their major or interest in engineering. “I want to make it very open to everyone … we really just need people that excel in different areas,” he emphasizes. Robert brings up the example of creating an outreach group in the future, locating and reaching out to potential clients who may be interested in the prosthetics they build. “Maybe one day we will see psychology majors or IGS majors in the engineering clubs as well,” Robert says. 

As the club navigates the process of becoming officially recognized and overcoming the challenges of retention and engagement, its leaders remain committed to their mission. “Build a hand for someone who needs it,” Robert suggests as a simple yet powerful call to action for potential members.

For students interested in joining or learning more about the Prosthetics Club, Robert encourages reaching out via email for now, with hopes of establishing more official communication channels soon. 

Robert Cooper, he/him, 2026 rcooper@brandeis.edu

Avery Bishop, she/her, 2027 averybishop@brandeis.edu 

Editor’s note: Deputy social media editor Avery Bishop ’27, interviewed in this article, did not participate in its writing or editing.

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