Coffee & Conversation
Every Monday, 10:30-11:30 AM
St. Charles Public Library
**Special Program on Monday, October 9**
E. Andrew Wood – The Biological Challenges of Flight and the Mayo Connection
On Monday, October 9 at 10:30am, E. Andrew Wood, author of Life at High G-Force, will visit the St. Charles Public Library to speak on “The Biological Challenges of Flight and the Mayo Clinic Connection.” Wood will discuss Mayo Clinic’s involvement in aviation science before and during World War II. He will delve into the development of the G-Suit, in which his father, Dr. Earl Wood, played a key role.
Andrew Wood’s recently published book, Life at High G-Force: The Quest of Mayo Clinic Researcher Dr. Earl H. Wood, is the biography of the man whose innovations placed him in the forefront of aviation and medical science in the twentieth century. Dr. Earl Wood was recruited by Mayo Clinic in 1942 to conduct research on gravitational physiology on their human centrifuge. Using themselves as experimental subjects, he and fellow scientists investigated the effects of acceleration and the cause of gravitational loss of consciousness. The result was a vastly improved G-suit, and self-protection straining technique which allowed Allied pilots to outmaneuver Japanese and German planes and win the air battles of World War II.
Following the war, Dr. Wood continued his research, pioneering cardiac catheterization for patients with heart disease. The oximeter, which was initially developed to detect pulse, was enhanced to measure blood oxygen saturation levels; it is now used in every hospital and clinic in the world and is of critical importance in monitoring cardio-pulmonary status during the COVD-19 pandemic. In the 1970s, Dr. Wood and his team developed computer-based X-ray techniques, paving the way for modern CAT and MRI scanners.
E. Andrew Wood is the youngest of Dr. Earl Wood’s four children. He is a graduate of Hamline University and the Mayo Clinic School of Health-Related Sciences and has a Master’s degree from the University of Minnesota. He spent over 25 years at General Mills as the Manager of Health Promotion and Ergonomics and two years as Director of Ergonomics and Corporate Solutions at Muve Inc., a joint venture with Mayo Clinic, where he was responsible for developing and implementing activity-based ergonomic and wellness programs for corporate clients. Wood was a consultant for ergonomics at Ferguson Risk Management, where he provided ergonomic and wellness strategies for corporations, including Land O’Lakes, Bayer, Bosch, Dairy Farmers of America, CVS Health, and several government agencies until his retirement in 2021.
E. Andrew Wood has authored several articles and given multiple presentations on the development and assessment of ergonomic and health promotion programs in industry. He is also fluent in spoken and written German. In his spare time, Wood enjoys working on the family farm in southeast Minnesota, competitive cross-country skiing, hiking, fishing, and hunting, dog training, and restoring an antique Jeep. As a person with severe dyslexia, Andy is a graduate of the Rochester Reading Center and is a spokesperson for the Dyslexia Institute of Minnesota.
Wood’s visit to the St. Charles Public Library is part of the weekly Coffee & Conversation program. Looking for something to do on a Monday morning? The library is offering free coffee, hot chocolate, and apple cider every Monday, 10:30am – 11:30am. Drop by the library for a hot beverage and a chat with your fellow community members.