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posted Jun 12, 2017, 7:29 AM by Kristin Hernandez   [ updated Jun 12, 2017, 7:56 AM ]
An antigravity harness designed by Noah Oliver, GHHS alumni.
Photo: An anti-gravity harness system that will to allow infants and children with limited mobility to walk on their own, designed by Noah Oliver, Armando Garcia Jr., Khaled Alosaimi, Eileen Baker, and Hasan Farman. Photo courtesy of Noah Oliver. 

Noah Oliver is developing a mechanism that will allow individuals with limited mobility to move freely through their homes.  The 2013 graduate of Granite Hills High School will be working on the project as a research assistant, while completing his graduate program in Mechanical Engineering at Northern Arizona University.

Oliver has been studying mechanical engineering at NAU for the past four years and received his bachelor’s degree this spring. For his senior capstone project, Oliver teamed up with several other engineering students to create an anti-gravity harness system that would allow children and infants with limited mobility to walk on their own. After presenting the project at an end of the year symposium, an engineering professor offered Oliver an opportunity to expand upon this mechanism through a position as a research assistant.  Oliver excitedly accepted the opportunity to tackle this project, which will not only provide him with valuable hands-on experience but will also provide funding for his graduate program.

“The idea behind it is to be able to set up this entire system within an entire household so an adult…can use this system and traverse their entire home by themselves and be able to go from room-to-room,” he said. “We want to figure out how to make it easier for the user to get through each room.”

Oliver’s passion for engineering first sparked while taking a physics course at Granite Hills High School. “That got me interested in the field,” he said. “I’ve always been mechanically adept and I like to know how things are put together and how things work. I wanted more understanding. (The class) kind of pushed me into it.”

“I really didn’t think I’d be able to get into engineering during my senior year of high school,” he said. “I decided to go out on a limb and try to do something I thought I’d enjoy.”

Oliver added that his time on the Granite Hills track and cross country teams taught him valuable lessons in teamwork and time management, which served him well in college. “(Athletics) really helped me work with different people from different backgrounds and that has helped me to this day. It comes up all the time in engineering classes. You get put in a group project that who you don’t know who anybody is and you get to work with them all semester and all year. Being able to adapt to those situations where you can work with different people is helpful,” he said. “It was a nice transition scheduling-wise. I know it’s a big thing transitioning to college from high school because you don’t have that eight to two schedule every day. Your schedule can vary so much from semester to semester that it’s hard to keep track of yourself and be able to make sure that you’re on top of things. That was a big help also.”

Oliver is scheduled to begin his graduate studies in mechanical engineering at NAU this fall and is expected to graduate in 2019. He hopes to pursue a career in developing, designing, and manufacturing devices.