BS biomedical engineering '04
(PhD bioengineering '10, Arizona State University)
Occupation: Senior sourcing continuity engineer, Medtronic Inc. (Cardiac Rhythm Disease Management Division)
Residence: Mesa, AZ
Family: Husband; two daughters, and another one due in January.
Community activities: Board member, homeowner's association.
Why did you choose to attend the University of Rochester?
My family thought I attended U of R because my high school boyfriend was already there. But truthfully, I chose to attend because U of R had everything I was looking for, the major (biomedical engineering), club and intramural sports (soccer and floor hockey), and language courses (Spanish, German, Russian). But I think the deciding factor was that I loved the environment of the campus - the smaller size, the river wrapped around it, the architecture of the buildings, and even the weather. Granted, I visited in late spring.
What resources did you use on campus that you recommend current students use?
I was a BME major and one requirement was to take "Circuits for Scientists and Engineers." It was a really hard class for me, but I found a friend of a friend who was an ECE major, to help me understand the concepts –like my own personal TA. In return, I helped him with Linear Algebra. I'd say it worked out pretty well since we ended up getting married! But seriously, make friends with people in other majors. It can turn out to be more helpful than you think.
What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take that path?
After graduation I attended ASU to pursue a PhD in Bioengineering. I wanted to make upper limb prosthetics that used brain control and/or integrated sensory information. It was an idea that came to me from taking ECE 210 and being a workshop leader and also from taking the BME course on sensors. I was further spurred on by the research I did as a senior with one of the BME faculty. He pointed me to research that was already being done in that area – that's how I ended up at ASU.
What do you do now and why did you choose this career?
I wanted to work for a company that made medical devices with electrical components because it would use some of what I had learned in my PhD, but also allow me to keep learning more (Meliora). I got an internship at Medtronic and then looked for open positions. I am now a sourcing continuity engineer. I perform ISO audits (i.e., make sure they have standard types of procedures and follow them) and work with suppliers to resolve any issues they encounter when manufacturing components for us. It's not what I thought I'd be doing, but I like it a lot!
What advice do you have for current Hajim School students about their time on campus, graduate study, or the first few years after college?
First, keep good notes – you never know which classes you will end up using; it might be the one you swore was completely unnecessary for what you planned to do. Second, if you're not required to take statistics, take it anyways and lots of it. It's the most important thing an engineer or scientist should know. Third, internships are key and you are never too over- or under-qualified to apply. I applied for an undergrad internship as a graduating doctoral student, but it got me the job I wanted in the end. Finally, make sure you take some time for fun. You can always be a workaholic later in life.