BioENGINE Matches Bioengineering Students to Companies for Work, Internships

Past Tides
January 18, 2018 By Wendy Wolfson

On December 7th, the 3rd annual cohort of BioENGINE students met with medical device, healthcare, and digital health companies offering opportunities for work and internships at “Evening with Industry,” an event co-organized by BioENGINE and CivicMinds Recruitment. In the BioENGINE program, students obtain hands-on experience in technical and business development aspects of biomedical engineering as they work in teams to further develop UCI and/or company intellectual property into marketable products. BioENGINE’s UCI partners include the School of Medicine, Samueli School of Engineering, Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences, Beckman Laser Institute, UCI Athletics, and UCI Applied Innovation. BioENGINE also includes representatives from local industries who comprise the BioENGINE Task Force. For more information: http://innovation.uci.edu/programs/bioengine/

According to Professor Michelle Khine, BioENGINE director, this year the program is now open to all engineering students; previously only biomedical engineering (BME) and chemical engineering and materials science (CBEMS) students could participate. “We have started ties with industry to get IP to create startup companies,” said Khine. “The first company out of BioENGINE got a $300,000 SBIR grant.” Event co-organizers from BioENGINE included Gisela Lin, Ph.D., deputy director of the NSF Center for Advanced Design and Manufacturing of Integrated Microfluidics (CADMIM), as well as Applied Innovation’s Sophia Lin, Ph.D, research translation specialist, Ron King, Ph.D., senior director, Research Translation Program, and Michael Artinger, Ph.D., managing director of the Research Translation Group.

Nick Sachdeva, managing director at CivicMinds, a global recruitment company focusing on biomedical, healthcare, and technology positions, and head of Orange County investing group Tech Coast Angels, introduced Gregory Washington, Ph.D., dean of the Henry Samueli School of Engineering. “You don’t have an event like this without vision,” said Washington. “Somebody had to predict years ago that you all are going to need this. The person primarily responsible is Michelle Khine. This program is unique, not just among UC programs, but programs across the country.” Washington added. “Nick is progressing in the leadership of Tech Coast Angels, so if you have great ideas, Nick is going to be able to fund them.”

Attendees recruiting students and post-docs included:

  • Fiona Adair, Ph.D., VP of Strategy and Innovation, Dirk Heckel, Ph.D., VP of R&D Innovation, and David Yang, Ph.D., principal innovation manager at Beckman Coulter, a $4.5 billion in-vitro diagnostics company owned by Danaher. Adair described opportunities for graduating scientists and engineers, including the iDEAS program that selects 6 doctoral graduates who rotate through different parts of the company, as well as summer internships.
  • Shiva Sharareh, Ph.D., senior innovation research fellow, Acute Pain, described opportunities at Halyard Health Inc. in the areas of preventing infection, reducing pain, and speeding recovery.
  • Chris Hoo, Ph.D, project engineer, and Marshall Meek, technical supervisor at 3M, are currently developing stronger lighter soldier armor. 3M also has multiple divisions in Irvine, including manufacturing and advanced materials.
  • Alex Garcia, senior R&D manager at Medtronic Neurovascular Division, which develops devices to mitigate the effects of stroke and aid recovery.
  • Vivian Khalil, director of regulatory, clinical affairs, and engineering at Edwards Lifesciences, which creates heart valves and other cardiovascular devices. HengChu Cao, Ph.D. and Jason Brown focused on engineering technologies at Edwards Lifesciences.
  • Nathaniel Bischoff, advanced fellow in Artificial Intelligence in Medicine (AIMed) at MI3 CHOC Children’s Hospital was looking for interns for patient innovation projects
  • Asad Abu-Tarif, Ph.D., VP of Research and Development at Midmark Corporation, a medical device company headquartered in Ohio, described opportunities in healthcare products, equipment and diagnostic software for medical, veterinary, and dental markets.
  • Natasha Felsinger, engineering manager, Simulation R&D at Applied Medical brought a team of UCI alumni, all employees at the company, to the event to recruit interns and permanent employees.
  • Kirby Dotson, director of hardware engineering at Masimo Corporation, which develops pulse oximeters for blood oxygen monitoring.