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Richard R. Neptune, Chair of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at The University of Texas at Austin, has been selected to receive the prestigious American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) Van C. Mow Medal.

ASME was founded in 1880 and today includes more than 130,000 members around the world. The medal’s namesake, Van C. Mow, was an early pioneer in the field of biomedical engineering and was the founding Chair of Columbia University’s Biomedical Engineering Department.

Each year, ASME bestows the Van C. Mow Medal upon individuals who have “demonstrated meritorious contributions to the field of bioengineering through research, education, professional development, leadership in the development of the profession, mentorship to young bioengineers, and with service to the bioengineering community.”

In addition to serving as Department Chair, Neptune — an internationally recognized leader in the areas of biomechanics and neuromotor control of human movement — directs the Neuromuscular Biomechanics Lab at UT Austin.

Neptune’s research is aimed at improving the quality of life for those with movement disabilities including lower-limb amputees, those with post-stroke hemiparesis and wheelchair users. His lab also uses advanced additive manufacturing techniques to optimize the design of prosthetic and orthotic components to improve rehabilitation outcomes. He has a patent for a prosthetic ankle joint invention.

Neptune is the recipient of numerous teaching and research awards, including the American Society of Biomechanics Young Scientist Award, National Science Foundation CAREER Award, Engineering Society of Detroit/National Multiple Sclerosis Society Da Vinci Award, Lockheed Martin Aeronautics Company Award for Excellence in Engineering Teaching and the university’s Joe and Bettie Branson Ward Endowed Excellence Award. In 2016, he was named a Fellow of the American Society of Biomechanics.

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