Hannah-Forbes Fund


Need Funding for your Senior Project?

Purpose: To fund hands-on biomedical engineering senior theses and senior design projects at Cal Poly.

Guidelines: Students can apply for up to $500 to cover project-related expenses. 

Application Procedures: To apply for funding, please fill out the online application and provide the following information:

• Title and goal of proposed project
• Brief summary of project background and significance
• Outline of proposed methods for completing project
• Budget requested (include proposed vendors/quotes as supplement)
• Timeline
• Specific deliverables or outcomes
• Advisor and existing resources for the project


Submit your application by: 
Projects must be completed by: 

The Hannah-Forbes Project Fund was established in 2010 to fund hands-on biomedical engineering senior theses and senior design projects at Cal Poly. The fund functions like a mini-grant, and students may qualify for up to $500 to support their project.  They must apply for the grant, write a proposal, prepare a budget, and provide a follow-up report.  Jo Ellen Hose, Jim Hannah, and Bert and Candee Forbes were the initial supporters behind the Fund.  They recognized the Learn By Doing approach of Cal Poly and the value of Senior Projects as a launching board for the future careers of these students.  In 2014, another generous donor, Dr. Philip Heintz, stepped in to sustain the fund.   Over the past 9 years, the fund has supported 145 projects and 323 students with a series of mini-grants.  A few examples of recent projects include:

Esophageal Mapping and Temperature Regulation Probe for Catheter Ablation:  The goal of the project was to create a probe that reads and interpolates the temperature of esophageal  tissue to prevent damage due to overheating during cardiac ablation procedures.  Funds were used to purchase a Raspberry Pi, glass-bead thermistors, and electrical components to assemble a probe capable of producing a real time three-dimensional color mapped rendering of temperature in the esophagus.

Concussion Indication Football Helmet:  The goal of this project was to design, build, and test a football helmet that could safely measure the magnitude of the collisions experienced by players and calculate the probability of concussion occurrence.  Funds were used to purchase a 3-axis accelerometer, lumber, and kettlebells used in building a test fixture for impact testing helmets containing the detection system.

Characterizing Electrospun Nanofiber Polymer Scaffolds for Tissue Engineered “Blood Vessel Mimics”:  The goal of the project was to characterize the mechanical properties and cellular interactions with nanofiber PLGA scaffolds for use in tissue engineered blood vessel mimics.  Funds were used to purchase chloroform solvent and PLGA for electrospinning.

Students recall their senior project fondly as the capstone experience of their time at Cal Poly.  They can also rattle off a number of things that they would have done differently if provided an additional $500 to supplement their project budget.  Jim, Jo Ellen, Bert, Candee, and Philip believed that investing in students and their projects was a great example of how putting a little money in the system can reap big rewards—for students, for industry and for our future society as we train the next generation of biomedical engineers.

Contributing to the Hannah-Forbes Fund is not limited to the initial and current donors — anyone may donate to this fund.  Especially for new donors or for a few dollars, it’s an ideal place to make a difference right away. When it comes to senior projects, a small investment can have a big impact.  You may donate online at https://bmed.calpoly.edu/hannah-forbes-fund. Thank you for your continued support of BMED.

Would you like to contribute to the education and success of future biomedical engineering students? Please visit the Cal Poly Giving page and make a donation.  Thank You!