Human Engineering Research Laboratories

Rory Cooper (left) with friend David Gifford (right) just before the 2020 virtual Pittsburgh Marathon
Last October, Rory Cooper crashed his handcycle during the early miles of a marathon. The director of Pitt’s Human Engineering Research Laboratories would go on to finish the remaining 23.2 miles, then spend four days in a coma. Read about his incredible recovery, and his long history of working to improve wheelchair users’ lives.
Cooper in a light blue collared shirt
Rory Cooper has received many honors throughout his career, but none quite like the recognition he received from the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office this May. His work in Pitt’s Human Engineering Research Laboratories is changing the evolution of mobility technology.
Sharma head shot
It seems like something from a sci-fi movie: humans wearing bionic technology to move more easily. But Pitt researchers are turning fiction into a reality, aiming to help people with paraplegia.