WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind.— Purdue engineering students have been working on a unique project to help the men's basketball team advance in the NCAA tournament.
The group of students and their professor spent 30 hours straight creating a new elbow brace for basketball center Isaac Haas.
Haas broke his elbow in round one and the NCAA didn't clear his new brace for use in the second round. After running on only a few hours of sleep, the students say this challenge put their skills to the test.
A call from Purdue administration asking Purdue engineering students to create a brace for senior center Issac Haas came with a quick turnaround. After sharing ideas with athletic trainers, the students came up with the idea to use leather to prevent Haas' elbow from locking up and potentially injuring other players.
Professor Eric Nauman said the mechanical engineering department usually takes on much smaller projects.
"In 34 hours, we designed a product that should have taken a month," Nauman said. "The foam padding inside the brace that would absorb small impacts all the way up to the large impacts, and that's kind of where this one started."
Graduate student Taylor Lee said it was a positive atmosphere.
"This was something we were all able to come together to do quickly and efficiently and we actually get to see it work, which is a pretty neat experience," Lee said.
Although Haas will not be playing in Friday's game, the group said they look forward to watching the Boilers play only if they can stay up late enough to watch it.