Greetings! My name is Emma and I am a fourth-year undergraduate in mechanical engineering born and raised in Colorado. Given the dynamic world that we live in, I find it incredibly important to have a wide variety of skills along with a relentless drive for improvement. I have spent the last four years working to learn new skills in engineering, but I feel as if I haven’t had much of an opportunity to broaden my horizons since most of our classes have a core focus. Exploring design has been a fantastic way for me to discover and improve my artistic abilities (I am not strong as an artist).

While the engineering skills that I have learned such as systematic calculation, 3D modeling, sketching and teamwork are essential to practicing mechanical engineering, I feel as though some of the other skills that I have learned about that are non-engineering related are equally as important when it comes to being a dynamic individual. Organization is a skill that I adopted early because I am somewhat meticulous. Communication is another skill that I have found very useful in learning and understanding concepts that wouldn’t usually be presented in my major.

I am most interested in the study of biomedical materials science. My dream job would include researching and designing prosthetics and implants that would change the lives of the immobile. My most recent internship was at a company that makes machines for testing biomedical samples. I was in charge of some assembly procedures as well as keeping tabs on the bill of materials and working on new revisions. This company was very small and unable to maintain funding for the time being, but I would love to work at other small companies in the future because I feel as though the work done becomes more personal.

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For sure, complementary and supplementary skills and awarenesses improve our ability to function within the engineering world… communication can help us translate our ideas to internal and external customers, business courses can help us understand deadlines and budgeting, and aesthetics courses can improve the desirability of products we design (they can even lead to changes in how we approach problems or relate to our customers). I’ve worked in cochlear implants and currently design wheelchairs in North Boulder with the goal of working in prosthetics by the time I’m 30, and this course is *definitely* applicable to that field. Patients have to use these devices daily if not constantly; kids want colorful and friendly-looking products, teens and young adults want sleek or sporty devices, men and women have different tastes and need the options to pick something that matches their aesthetic sensibilities. Check out the range of cochlear implant aesthetics from Advanced Bionics (http://bit.ly/ABstyle) and how Open Bionics has created exciting themed robotic prosthetics for kids (https://www.openbionics.com/)

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Siddharth Nigam
February 23, 2017 12:54 pm

It’s really neat that you recognize the skills beyond the scope of our education! I hope you get your dream job, it sounds like you are really passionate about it!

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