ESP Biography

RUDY GELB-BICKNELL, Signal Processing R&D Engineer @ Boston Scientific

Major: Biomedical Engineering

College/Employer: Biomedical Engineer at Boston Scientific, attended splash/spark for many years

Year of Graduation: 2019

Picture of Rudy Gelb-Bicknell

Brief Biographical Sketch:

I am a Signal Processing Engineer working at Rhythmia, a heart mapping company, within Boston Scientific (big biotech company in, you guessed it, Boston). I spend all day thinking about how electricity moves through people's hearts and how we can get all of this raw data from the heart and transform it in a way that allows doctors to see exactly what part of the heart has gone wrong. I graduated with a degree in Biomedical Engineering from Washington University in St. Louis in 2019. In my free time I play Jazz Piano and write music, go on tons of hikes, and read lots of books about all sorts of cool stuff.

Past Classes

  (Clicking a class title will bring you to the course's section of the corresponding course catalog)

S14309: Shockingly Scientific: Intro to Cardiac Electrophysiology in Splash 2020 (Nov. 14 - 15, 2020)
No matter how strong you are, if you lift something heavy over and over again, you will get tired. Your arms will start to ache, and eventually your muscles will just stop listening to you. Your heart muscle doesn't have that luxury. It needs to make sure every one of the cells in your body gets fresh oxygenated blood in a single squeeze. It needs to do this without fail every single second from the moment you are born to the moment you die. Why don't our hearts ever need a break? What determines how fast it beats? What if our hearts pump too hard or too soft? Too fast or too slow? How does it squeeze in just the right way to pump the blood all the way around the body with ease? Welcome to the world of Cardiac Electrophysiology, or electricity of the heart. In this world you will encounter balloons filled with liquid nitrogen, laser-firing wands, and orbs that rip cells apart with electric fields. We'll first go through the basics of how the heart works, where it sends blood to and where it gets it back from. Then we'll talk about how regular muscles work and how their behaviors are controlled by electricity, as well as what makes heart muscle different from all other muscle in your body. Then we get to the really fun stuff: how electricity propagates through the heart, and what happens when things go wrong in that system. Finally, we'll finish up with a dive into the extremely cool field of 3D electrophysiology mapping and ablation, the tools that doctors use to understand and fix hearts with conduction abnormalities (that’s where all those crazy tools come in!). I’m gonna try to cover a lot of ground in this class, so it’ll definitely move pretty speedily. There will be some math and basic physics talked about, but I’ll do my best to cover any prerequisite material for understanding it. I’ll also make sure to stress the key takeaways from each section so that everyone can get the general idea of what is going on, and the people that want to can understand some of the math going on behind it.