Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering

Clare Rimnac Awarded Distinguished University Professorship

It may fall to medical historians to recall when even successful total joint replacements would sometimes result in patients suffering needlessly as the plastic inside their knee or hip began to degrade. Among the scientists credited with solving that post-surgical complication is Clare Rimnac, the Wilbert J. Austin Professor of Engineering in the Department of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering. Rimnac’s research—funded nearly continuously for more than 30 years by the National Institutes of Health, along with orthopedic industries and private foundations—has focused in part on “degradation science,” uncovering how ultra-high molecular weight polyethylene ages both before and after implantation in the body.

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