Dr. Rebecca Bercich's areas of expertise and research are in assistive medical devices, mechatronic systems, and plastic recycling technology for closed-loop economies. She has established a research collaboration with reTHink, Inc., a non-profit organization that provides sustainability solutions to the Wabash Valley. This collaboration aims to develop a local solution for plastic waste and provide project opportunities for students interested in environmental sustainability. She and her team received a grant from the Indiana Department of Environmental Management (IDEM) to equip a plastic up-cycling center that repurposes post-consumer plastic and serves as a space for educational outreach. Dr. Bercich's doctoral research focused on the development of wirelessly powered implantable devices that record and stimulate bioelectric activity. She was the lead graduate student on a neuromuscular interfaces project that produced a patent and a fully wireless myoelectric sensor array for upper-limb amputees using myoelectric prostheses. Dr. Bercich earned teaching awards throughout her graduate studies and served as a guest speaker at Women in Engineering programs that encouraged high school students to explore STEM careers.

Academic Degrees

  • PhD, Purdue University, 2016
  • MS, Purdue University, 2011
  • BS, Purdue University, 2010

Awards & Honors

  • Estus H. and Vashti L. Magoon Award for Excellence in Teaching, 2015
  • Teaching Academy Graduate Teaching Award, Purdue University, 2015
  • Third Place, National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance Biomedical Engineering Startup Competition, 2011

Research Interests

  • Plastic recycling technology and closed-loop economies
  • Biomedical instrumentation and devices
  • Atmospheric water harvesting
  • Technical communication in engineering

Select Publications & Presentations

  • S. Summers, R. Bercich, P. Cornwell, D. Kawano, J. Mayhew, and S. Moseley, “The Impact of Scaffolded Writing Instruction on Follow-up Course Assignments,” Proceedings of the 2020 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference & Exposition. Montreal, Quebec, Canada. June 21-24, 2020. In preparation.

    Daniel J. Pederson, Christopher J. Quinkert, Muhammad A. Arafat, Jesse P. Somann, Jack D. Williams, Rebecca A. Bercich, Zhi Wang, Gabriel O. Albors, John G. R. Jefferys, and Pedro P. Irazoqui, “The Bionode: A Closed-Loop Neuromodulation Implant.,” ACM Trans. Embed. Comput. Syst. Vol 18, No 1, Article 9, Feb. 2019.

    R. Bercich, S. Summers, P. Cornwell, and J. Mayhew, “Technical Communications across the ME Curriculum at Rose-Hulman,” Proceedings of the 2018 American Society for Engineering Education (ASEE) Annual Conference & Exposition. Salt Lake City, UT, June 25, 2018.

    K. Kershaw, J. Aidoo, R. Bercich, T. Grose, K. Hammett, R. Onyancha, I. Reizman, and D. Walter, “Global Engineering and the Social Context: A Cross-Disciplinary Course for Undergraduates,” Proceedings of the 9th Conference on Engineering Education for Sustainable Development (EESD). Glassboro, NJ, June 4, 2018.

    R. Bercich, Z. Wang, H. Mei, L. H. Smith, K. L. Seburn, L. H. Hargrove, and P. P. Irazoqui, “Enhancing the Versatility of Wireless Biopotential Acquisition for Myoelectric Prosthetic Control,” Journal of Neural Engineering, Vol 13, No 4, pp 46012-26, Aug. 2016.

    P. P. Irazoqui, R. A. Bercich, H. Mei, M. Arafat, G. O. Albors, D. J. Pederson, C. J. Quinkert, J. Somann, Z. Wang, J. D. Williams, J. G. Jefferys, T. Lovick, T. Powley, Q. Yuan. System for wireless Recording and Stimulating Bioelectric Events. US Patent Application No. 62/348,405 filed on June 10, 2016.

    H. Mei, K. A. Thackston, R. Bercich, J. G. R. Jefferys, and P. P. Irazoqui, “Cavity Resonator Wireless Power Transfer System for Freely-Moving Animal Experiments,” IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, Vol PP, No 99, June 2016.

    R. Bercich, D. Duffy, and P.P. Irazoqui, “Far Field RF Powering of Implantable Devices: Safety Considerations,” IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, Vol 60, No 8, pp. Feb. 2013, pp. 2107-12, Feb. 2013.

    R. Bercich, J. Bernhard, K. Larson, and J. Lindsey, “Hand-Held Plasma Isolation Device for Point-of-Care Testing” IEEE Transactions on Biomedical Engineering, Vol 58, No 3, pp. 759-62, Mar. 2011.

Teaching Interests

  • Mechatronics
  • Engineering Design
  • Measurement Systems
  • Graphical Communications
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