June 05, 2013

WVU Student is Honored on Capitol Hill For Invention | WHAG

She was only 16-years-old when she entered a project for her high school's science fair.

Little did Katherine Bomkamp know that six years later her project would receive nationwide attention; not to mention becoming one of Glamour Magazine's Top Ten Women of the Year.

"I incorporated the concept of thermal biofeedback into the prosthetic socket. This is concentrated and controlled heat," says Katherine Bomkamp, inventor of a pain-free prosthetic device.

Currently a senior at West Virginia University, Bomkamp is the youngest presenter for her invention of the pain free socket, a device that heats up when worn.

The device concentrates heat on the remaining limb, helping to distract from phantom pains or pains amputees experience as if they still had their limb.

"When activated it stimulates nerve endings. It forces the brain to focus on the heat rather than to send signals to a limb that's no longer there," says Bomkamp.

Bomkamp was recognized on Capitol Hill by U.S. Senator Joe Manchin's staff.

Bomkamp serves as an example of the success of women who are often under represented in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields.

"She's one of the stellar students we've had at WVU. She came to us and its remarkable the achievements she has made as a young person and continuing to do that," says John Bolt of West Virginia University.

An invention that could help the lives of millions.