Key Personnel Biographies

Lee Barnes


After earning an MA degree in Mathematics at California State University, Long Beach, in 1975, Lee worked at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center (Rancho). He started his career as a computer programmer, writing gait analysis software and statistics programs to analyze data obtained in research studies. While at Rancho, Lee programmed the first footswitch-based gait analysis program under the direction of Dr. Perry as well as EMG analysis software. From 1982 until 1990, Lee designed and developed a wide variety of software applications at Mattel Electronics and Quotron Systems. In 1990, Lee joined B&L Engineering as general manager and minority owner. Lee became the majority owner in 1995 and as president, continues to drive engineering and product development today.

Ernest (Ernie) Bontrager

Mechanical Engineer

Following receipt of his BS degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1960, Ernie began his working career at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center (Rancho), where he was involved in the design and control of externally powered arm braces for persons with severe loss of upper extremity function. In 1963, he, along with his partner, Roy Snelson, founded B&L Engineering. After a two year hiatus from Rancho to obtain an MS degree in Engineering from Case Institute of Technology (now Case Western Reserve University), Ernie returned to Rancho in 1965 to continue his work in the control of powered arm braces. In 1973, Ernie began working in the Pathokinesiology Lab at Rancho, under the supervision of Dan Antonelli and Dr. Jacquelin Perry. He was instrumental in the design of instrumentation for quantifying gait and, in the late 1970's, along with Lee Barnes, designed the first Footswitch Stride Analyzer. Ernie retired from Rancho in 2008 yet continues to apply his engineering talents at B&L Engineering on a part time basis.