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Computer Science alum at work in Chattanooga Group

MIchael BuendiaIt was recently announced that the University has partnered with Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation and the Chattanooga Group to help patients recover from stroke and other physically debilitating illnesses. Michael Buendia, Software Engineer for The Chattanooga Group and UTC alumnus, is involved in the development of new products for the manufacturer.

Buendia has worked with the Chattanooga Group for one and a half years.

“I have been working on developing a new portable TENS (Transcutaneous Electrical Never Stimulator) device. I program the user interface and the microchip controller for operation of the device. It is an electrotherapy device used by physical therapist and in rehabilitation. It should be out in the market after the new year,” said Buendia.

Buendia has also been working on one of Chattanooga Group’s clinical devices, Intelect Advanced, implementing several foreign languages for the international market. The Intelect Advanced unit is a full electrotherapy unit sold internationally.

Buendia says the domestic version is called the Vectra Genysis. It has the ability to provide four channels of electrotherapy via several different waveforms and has additional modules for ultrasound, sEMG, and laser treatments. The unit sits atop a stand that is used in physical therapy/rehabilitation. A brief description of the Vectra Genysis can be found at on The Chattanooga Group website.

“I have been working on adding languages to the user interface,” Buendia said. “Currently the international units can do 18 other languages. Specifically, I have been implementing the Asian languages of Chinese, Korean, and Japanese. A lot of work must be done to make languages appear because it is a symbolic language rather than characters--over 30,000 symbols rather than 26 characters. The words are all translated by a separate translating company but I have been working on implementing those translations.”

After completing the graduate program in computer science at UTC, Buendia says he felt he had the capacity to enter any field.

“I felt that my work as a Lab Instructor and the classes I took prepared me for my job, Buendia said. “Even being the youngest at work, the experience from teaching made it much easier to explain things to fellow employees or even just help them out with problems. Work was different when I first started, but I had the abilities to easily learn and adapt to the new environment. Working as a software engineer, the programming I do now is very different from what I did at school, but the fundamental tools I learned really helped. It is the career that I had hoped to obtain after graduating and a plus was that it is in Chattanooga. I wanted this kind of position rather than an IT, web, or windows based programming.”

January 3, 2007