Center for Injury Research and Prevention

Student Life at CIRP


Tatijana Taylor, a Drexel University student majoring in Public Health (right) with Chelsea Ward, MS at a teen driving safety research meeting. 

Research co-op student life at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) at Children's Hospital of Philadelphia (CHOP) is anything but a "typical" researchco-op or internship experience. CIRP's co-op students become important participants in their research activities and see projects through from beginning to en as often as possible.

As part of CIRP research co-op student life, they are also encouraged to attend meetings, training, and presentations to become fully immersed in CIRP and the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia Research Institute

Evan Bisirri worked with CIRP's Biomedical Engineering Research team as a co-op while pursuing an accelerated BS/MS degree in Biomedical Engineering at Drexel University. Here is what she has to say about CIRP research co-op student life: "As a person with varied interests, the experience I have gained at CIRP has been the driving force in determining the path I wish to take—and it’s research."

Janice Bonsu was pursuing her MPH at the University of Pennsylvania when she joined Dr. Allison Curry's team as a research co-op. The team explored the perspectives and experiences of healthcare professionals who provide driving rehabilitation services to adolescents with autism spectrum disorders (ASD). Here is what she has to say about CIRP research co-op student life: "What is special about working at a place like CIRP is the multidisciplinary approach it takes to combat the risks to children’s health. I sat only a few feet away from bioengineers, behavioral scientists, and epidemiologists. Although CIRP's research methods are distinct, all our united under the same mission. As a young professional, this type of work (and learning) environment has expanded my perception of how research should be conducted."

While a Mechanical Engineering and Biomechanics student at Drexel University, Todd Hullfish participated in CIRP's Finite Element Modeling (FEM) project. Here is what he has to say about CIRP research co-op student life: "The CIRP experience has helped me want to focus on the human component of engineering more than the product development side and that I want to continue to explore the infinite possibilities of FEM [Finite Element Modeling]."

Read these blog posts from some of our research co-op students to learn about their experiences at CIRP:

CIRP Student Spotlight

Saniyah Shaikh

Saniyah Shaikh CIRP Student Trainee

"I started working at the Center for Injury Research and Prevention (CIRP) at the beginning of my freshman year (October 2016). During my time at CIRP, I have worked with Dr. Helen Loeb and Dr. Aditya Belwadi on a two-year Center for Child Injury Prevention Studies (CChIPS) project on autonomous-to-manual takeover situations in self-driving cars. This study measures how participants react to a potentially catastrophic failure of autonomous technology. Specifically, I have been involved in programming one of the takeover scenarios in the driving simulator, recruiting participants, running study visits, and analyzing the data in the programming language Python to determine reaction and recovery times.

These opportunities have allowed me to grow in my programming, analysis, and presentation skills. In addition, it has been eye-opening to see how different generations have evolved in their use of and experiences with driving.

I am so grateful for the experience of working with the amazing team at CIRP and all the skills I have gained from being involved in the full research cycle of a project. I would never have imagined that I could publish research as a freshman undergraduate student, nor that I would be able to travel to Nashville to present on behalf of CIRP at the 2018 Association for the Advancement of Automotive Medicine (AAAM) Student Symposium. It was very interesting to see all the research presented at the symposium on injury prevention, especially with regards to autonomous and semi-autonomous vehicles.

I am currently in my junior year at the University of Pennsylvania where I am working towards a Bachelor of Science in Engineering degree in Computer Science. I am excited about continuing to work at CIRP on future simulator projects!"