Trine Students to Help Develop Orthotic Device

July 31st, 2013

News Coverage:

July 30, 2013

News Release

ANGOLA, Ind. – The new science of mimicking nature will be part of the process when Trine University's Innovation One (i1) works to develop a new orthotic device for infants and toddlers. The design will be based on a concept from SureStep, a South Bend company that is partnering with i1.

Bernie Veldman, a certified orthotist who developed the patented SureStep orthotic device for children, has an idea for a new orthotic device and he turned to i1 to bring his concept to fruition.

"We are honored that Mr. Veldman – an entrepreneur and inventor - is partnering with Innovation One to develop and test an orthotic device," said Earl D. Brooks II, Trine president.

"Mr. Veldman and SureStep join many other individuals and companies that have put faith and trust in Innovation One, which was started last year."

i1, launched in August 2012 to help bring new ideas to market and spur economic development in the region, has collaborated on 30 projects by providing research, testing and analysis. i1 aids new and existing businesses by providing expertise in research and development, designing and prototyping, and engineering and marketing, among other areas. It involves Trine faculty and students in all fields of study.

"Our whole team is very excited to work with Innovation One and its staff. Being able to combine our industry knowledge with their resources is incredibly valuable. As a result, I feel confident we will create a product that will change the lives of children worldwide," said Veldman, CEO and owner of SureStep.

"We are partnering to provide product design engineering and prototyping expertise as we develop a new concept from Mr. Veldman and SureStep," said Tom DeAgostino, i1 director. A biomechanical engineer with SureStep will work with i1 as it delivers expertise in biomechanics and biomaterials in addition to design engineering and prototyping.

The team will also use biomimicry, a new science that studies nature's forms and adapts them for use, DeAgostino said. The thought is that nature has optimized design so rather than find a better way, the designs are mimicked in engineering, he said.

While the orthosis is for infants and toddlers, it will initially be tested by adults to gather feedback, DeAgostino said.

Any organizations or businesses that would like to partner with or contract for services with i1 should contact DeAgostino at, or Michael Bock, senior vice president, at

For more information about i1, visit

Veldman founded Midwest Orthotic and Technology Center in December 2000 and SureStepSM is a sister company. His SureStepSM orthosis, a stabilizing system for feet, was developed for children with low muscle tone. The majority of children using the system are diagnosed with Down syndrome, developmental delay or cerebral palsy.

For more information about SureStepSM, visit
For more information about MOTC, visit
For more information about biomimicry, visit

Trine University, an internationally recognized, private, co-educational, residential institution, offers associate, baccalaureate, and master degrees in programs to students in engineering, mathematics, science, informatics, business, teacher education, communication, criminal justice, golf management, social sciences, and various other fields of study. Trine is a member of the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association and offers 21 varsity sports. Its golf program includes the university-owned 18-hole championship Zollner Golf Course. Founded in 1884 and accredited by the Higher Learning Commission of the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools (, Trine operates a 450-acre main campus in Angola, Ind., and education resource centers throughout Indiana, Arizona and Michigan.

SureStep is a revolutionary, patented, internationally available, stabilizing brace system for children who pronate excessively due to low muscle tone, commonly referred to as "flat feet." These children may also have developmental delays associated with other diagnoses including: Down syndrome, Prader-Willi Syndrome, Fragile X syndrome, and certain forms of cerebral palsy. SureStep is a family owned company based in South Bend. Its products are sold throughout the United States and in more than 30 countries worldwide.

Source: Trine University