News Release

Latter-day Saint’s Scholarly Efforts Aimed to Help Amputees

Mahonri Owen is a young returned missionary from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints who is making a difference in the world. He is part of a team that is creating a brain-controlled prosthetic hand. 

Mahonri is a fine example of the benefits which come into one’s life as a result of education and effort. He is an outstanding young father, with a wonderful wife and family.

Because of his creative work, Mahonri has been invited to be involved with TED-x, Ruakura 2016 to inspire others toward individual contributions in life that benefit others and the world around them. Mahonri is of Ngāpuhi and Tūwharetoa descent.

Reflecting on his invitation to join the TED-x event, Mahonri said, "I was nominated as someone who would be a good speaker for TED-x. I am still not sure who nominated me but it has been a good experience so far. I was approached by the organisers about four months ago and have been doing speaker training ever since."

"I think it's a great opportunity for my chosen career. The experience has been stressful but worth it. I also have the wider hope that my research and work will attract people who can and are willing to help me to make a positive difference in the lives of others."

A Masters of Engineering candidate at the University of Waikato and recipient of a Health Research Council Māori PhD Scholarship, Mahonri is working with others to lessen the disabilities of those whose lives have been changed through loss of a portion of their bodies.

The prosthetic hand being created works through intuitive actions related to everyday human movements. Researchers hope to improve the abilities and quality of life for those who could benefit from the newly designed prosthesis.

For his role in the project, Mahonri said, “The trauma and pain that accompanies the loss of a limb is hard to overcome, physically and mentally and if my research can make recovery easier, then I’ll be very happy.”

TED is a non-profit organization devoted to “Ideas Worth Spreading.” Started as a conference in California 26 years ago, TED has grown to support world-changing ideas through various initiatives. TED-x is an outgrowth of this idea fostered through local programs and self-organized events that bring people together to share a TED-like experience.

The TED-x, Ruakura 2016 Event will be held Saturday 30 July 2016, 10.00 am – 6.00 pm, at the Gallagher Academy of Performing Arts, University of Waikato, in Hamilton.

Read more about Mahonri and his TED-x, Ruakura 2016 participation.

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