Nearly two years after suffering devastating injuries in a horrific car crash outside of Houston, a Texas college student has rebuilt her life, due in part to three Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) undergraduates and a professor who are developing a partial hand prosthetic to allow her to regain functionality.

The WPI students—Mia Buccowich ’22, majoring in biomedical engineering; Brian Fay ’22, majoring in mechanical engineering; and Andy Strauss ’23, majoring in robotics engineering—are developing the device for Payton Heiberger, 21, a junior on a pre-med track at the University of Houston, whose dreams of becoming a plastic surgeon were put on hold when she lost two fingers on her left hand in the accident, among other injuries.

Read the full article and watch a video about the collaboration at

PHOTO CAPTION: WPI students (from left) Mia Buccowich, Andy Strauss and Brian Fay with Texas student Payton Heiberger; prosthetic prototype (far right). (Photo courtesy of Worcester Polytechnic Institute. Photography: Matthew Burgos)