Erin Boutwell

Erin Boutwell is currently a PhD candidate in biomedical engineering at Northwestern University, and a student researcher within the Northwestern University Prosthetics-Orthotics Center. She holds a BS degree in biomedical engineering from Virginia Commonwealth University and a MS degree in biomedical engineering from Northwestern University. Erin is currently a Graduate Writing Fellow at Northwestern University, and vice-president of the Chicago alumni chapter of Tau Beta Pi. She is also an enthusiastic triathlete, choir singer, and volunteer with the PAWS Chicago animal shelter.

Content by Erin Boutwell


It’s a beautiful fall day in Chicago. The weather is cool, the breeze is refreshing, and the sky is a clear blue. It’s a perfect day to go for a run, so you set off at a nice, easy jog along the lakefront. You can smell the crisp autumn air, and hear the fallen leaves crunch beneath your feet. Another runner approaches, and you nod in greeting.  But something seems a little strange. Wait a minute – that runner isn’t wearing any shoes!