Summer 2014

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Photo by Steve Kagan

Ake Paramadilok: Child’s Play

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Ake Paramadilok’s mind is always whirring. The engineering grad is the quality assurance supervisor at Radio Flyer Inc., a Chicago-based toy company that specializes in wheeled children’s products like wagons, scooters and tricycles. He works to ensure that new products, such as the recently released Cyclone, are safe and fun. “The Cyclone has an ergonomic seat between these two huge, 16-inch wheels that have handles attached to them,” Paramadilok ’07 says enthusiastically, describing the new toy. “When [kids] crank the handles, they can go forward, they can go backward. And if they spin their hands in opposite directions, they can do 360s.” The Cyclone hit stores in March, and it is one of the products that fulfills the company’s mission to get kids to “get out and play.” Paramadilok is quick to credit the diversity of his education at Northwestern as a primary factor in his ability to do his job. “Coming into a small, family-owned business like Radio Flyer, you have to wear a lot of hats,” says Paramadilok, who majored in manufacturing and design engineering with a double major in biomedical engineering. Beyond his work at Radio Flyer, Paramadilok continues his interest in biomedical engineering. He has been volunteering and shadowing at Scheck & Siress, a prosthetic clinic in Oak Park, Ill., and hopes to volunteer in Zacapa, Guatemala, this year to help amputees in underserved communities be fit with prostheses.