Story

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Doctoral candidate, Biomedical Engineering

I earned my bachelor's in mechanical engineering. About a year prior to graduation, following an internship at a medical device company, I realized that my future lay in medical engineering.

To progress in the field, I pursued a master's degree in biomedical engineering. While waiting for a decision about my application, I worked with a small orthopedic device manufacturer in Australia.

I am currently enrolled in the Biomedical Engineering PhD program with a concentration in Clinical Engineering. My research relates to modular junction corrosion in total hip replacement implants, a major problem in modern orthopedics. A solution will have potential for significant clinical benefit.

Choosing U of T was straightforward. The University of Toronto's engineering school is well respected in Canada and internationally.

At U of T I have an award-winning supervisor, credited for his influence on orthopedic research. Furthermore, I credit U of T and my supervisor's international recognition for enabling me to collaborate with labs at Dartmouth University in the US and the University of New South Wales in Australia. 

However, I did not choose U of T solely based on reputation, but also on its unique clinical engineering PhD program. I believe that engineering is as much developing a solution as identifying the problem. The clinical engineering curriculum is largely hospital based, allowing equal time in the lab developing solutions and in the operating room understanding the problems. Additionally, the program's flexible internship component allowed me to continue with part-time employment while pursuing my degree. 

I count myself incredibly lucky; I attribute that to U of T and its faculty. Maintaining a part-time job in Sydney, Australia, about as far away from Toronto as it could be, really should not be feasible. To the contrary, my program coordinator and supervisor's enthusiasm and flexibility for me to pursue my goals has been remarkable. We have recently begun a partnership with a lab in Sydney that will certainly produce important research for years to come.

Compared to that, many of the other benefits I've experienced at U of T may seem mundane, but they are not. A point of stress for researchers is gaining the necessary resources. However, the funding, equipment, and training I've needed for my research have been available.

U of T provides exposure to leading-edge innovation, straight from the innovators. I'll never forget listening to pioneers in lab-based human tissue growth or curing cancer. That kind of inspiration is priceless.

While studying, I've continued to work with a small orthopedic device manufacturer in Australia. They've supported my ambition for higher education which hopefully will open more opportunities with them. I hope to be able to bring to market any innovations my research develops and to foster the relationships I've gained in orthopedic research.

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