Bridge Builder

Our head of testing

For Simone Oehler, facts come first. Oehler is head of testing at Ottobock and her responsibilities include making sure all products the company develops at its Duderstadt location and introduces to the market are tested for safety and functionality. So against this background, it's interesting that she refers to herself as a “scientist for everyday life”.

“The functionality and safety tests that inspect mechanical components and structural strength, for example, form the basis for ensuring that we bring high-quality products to the market which our customers and users alike can rely on,” says Simone Oehler. “But we are interested in more than that.” How do products behave under actual everyday conditions, for example? How often does a user go with a product on inclines? How many steps does he or she take on stairs and ramps? While a student at the Technical University of Berlin, Oehler already developed a measuring system, the Oktapod, which can be integrated into a prosthesis and continuously generates important data regarding the everyday stresses placed on the device. “Our goal is to carry out meaningful testing - things that really happen in everyday life and are not just produced artificially in the lab,” says Oehler. The Rehabtech Research Lab, which is housed at the Science Center Berlin, is the result of cooperation between Ottobock and the Technical University of Berlin. Further research is being conducted here and Simone Oehler, still at the intersection between science and the everyday, is now leading a project “that involves optimising prosthetic alignment”.

Oehler notes, “It fascinates me to see how technology builds bridges to people.” As she says, this is science for everyday life.


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