Darryl Chiu is a research assistant of the Assistive Technology Team, and has a background in biomedical engineering and medical science. We asked him a few questions to get to know him more.
Qualifications: BEng (Hons) (Biomedical), BMedSci (Immunology)
Q: What did you study, and how did you come to work at Cerebral Palsy Alliance?
I studied biomedical engineering and medical science (majoring in immunology) at The University of Sydney, and graduated at the end of 2020. During university I was employed at the Heart Research Institute (HRI), and completed my Honours research project with the Haematology Team on microfluidic technology. I then had the opportunity to intern as a student engineer at ResMed, a medical device company focused on treating sleep apnoea. When that finished up and the time came to look for a new job, I had the opportunity to join the Cerebral Palsy Alliance. I have now been working here for just over a year and thoroughly enjoy being part of the Research Institute.
Q: What are you passionate about in working with people with cerebral palsy?
I am passionate about using technology to find new solutions to help people to become more independent and confident in their own abilities. I enjoy the challenges of finding new assistive technologies and figuring out how to best incorporate it into the daily lives of people with disabilities.
Q: What are some exciting projects that you and your team are working on at the moment?
As a research assistant I get to work and help out on a variety of projects. Currently we are working on identifying what toys parents would like to be able to access for children who are not able to easily play with most available commercial toys. This involves sending out a survey to parents of children with cerebral palsy, before using the survey answers to adapt and modify toys and send them back to the families to try and out and play with.
Another project that we are working on is a software called SwitchApp, which is an AI based program that can recognise sounds or facial movements of a user to eventually be used to control a communication board. For example, smiling or raising an eyebrow could tell the computer to output a certain word or phrase. This project is being done in collaboration with the Holland Bloorview Research Institute in Toronto, Canada. Read more about this study in the ‘projects around the world’ section of this newsletter, where I had the opportunity to tour the research institute.
Q: What are some things you like to do in your spare time?
I love watching and+ playing sports in my free time, and I’m currently playing ultimate frisbee on both a social and competitive level. I also enjoy catching up with friends and checking out different cafes and bars. When I’m spending time by myself to recharge I like listening to podcasts and music, as well as online gaming.
Q: What are 3 restaurants/cafes you like to go to in Sydney and would recommend to others?
Q: Do you store tomato/BBQ sauce in the pantry or the fridge? What about chocolate?
I would store sauces/condiments in the pantry, but once it’s opened, I put it in the fridge. For chocolate, I would store it in the pantry unless it’s summer, where I might put it in the fridge if I’ve opened it (and I haven’t finished it already)!