OHS Alum Changing Lives Through Biomedical Engineering

Calhoun speaks to students at OHS.

Calhoun speaks to students at OHS.

Mark Calhoun has been a busy man since graduating from Olentangy High School in 2008.

In addition to earning his bachelor’s degree in biomedical engineering from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, Calhoun has begun his graduate studies in biomedical engineering at The Ohio State University, where he is developing neural biomimetic polymeric materials. He also worked on a project that changed one young boy’s life.

Calhoun returned to Olentangy High School (OHS) this week to speak to students about his accomplishments, what its like to study engineering and what it takes to be successful in college and in life.

The discussion centered on Calhoun’s work designing and building a prosthetic for an 8-year-old boy born with a short right forearm with only two fingers. The condition left the boy unable to perform things that a typical 8-year-old takes for granted, such as riding a bike or swinging a baseball bat.

Calhoun and another engineering student worked with the boy to design a prosthetic that could bend at the elbow, rotate at the wrist and open and close a hand-like mechanism. Calhoun created the arm using a 3-D printer and his engineering know-how.

In addition to his father and his own curious nature, Calhoun credited his success and interest in engineering to his time at Olentangy, where he was able to take a number of AP courses and learn from teachers like Elaine Humes.

Hoping to give back to Olentangy, Calhoun recently contacted Humes to ask if he could speak to students in her precalculus class about his experiences. The conversation resulted in Calhoun’s visit this week.

“We’re very proud of what he has accomplished,” Humes said.