To be honest with you, I wasn’t sure what my biomedical engineering (BME) classes would be like when I enrolled in my first major class. I imagined my classes would be focused on engineering prosthetics or a newly improved “da Vinci” surgical robot, and while BME does include projects like these, there is so much more to this field of study.

After two years of classes, clubs, and research, I would define BME as the intersection between electrical, mechanical, and chemical engineering to improve the human body. As a student who is passionate about math, physics, and biological sciences, BME is the perfect field for me.

As a pre-med student, I appreciate that BME has enhanced my understanding of the human body. Instead of just memorizing the Krebs cycle, amino acids, or anatomy, my biomedical engineering classes focus on modeling the body and simulating critical advances in medical technology. This unique perspective has allowed me to understand medicine so much more than just taking standard pre-med classes.

BME has also given me the opportunity to work in a 3D ultrasound-based engineering lab since freshman year. I have simulated ultrasound arrays in MATLAB, fabricated new transducers, manipulated circuits, and much more. Overall, my research has supplemented my course work significantly and has helped me find what fields of engineering excite me most!

I am incredibly grateful that BME has allowed me to explore so many different aspects of engineering and biological sciences. While BME students may not become as specialized in each of the engineering disciplines, our wide variety of skills and knowledge enables us to adapt quickly and understand engineering as a whole.

What excites me the most about BME, however, is the incredible opportunity to help people directly. Health is at the core of the human experience, and being able to provide support and solutions for medical problems is extremely rewarding and motivating. BME pre-med may seem intimidating; however, it combines all of my passions seamlessly in an incredibly fun and rewarding way. Furthermore, a degree in biomedical engineering will allow me many options in the future as I can pursue medical school, a Ph.D., industry, and much more!

While I may have chosen BME initially somewhat by chance, I am so grateful I did. I believe whole-heartedly that any field of study, no matter the difficulty, is doable and enjoyable if your heart lies within it. 🙂

Emily Powis

Emily Powis

MAJOR: Biomedical Engineering YEAR: Class of 2022 HOMETOWN: Denver, Colorado PRONOUNS: she/her/hers INSTA: @emilyspowis Within Viterbi I conduct research in 3D ultrasound development. Outside of engineering, I compete and train with the SC Climbing Team, guide outdoor trips with SC Ouftitters, volunteer as an Emergency Medical Technician with EMSC, help provide mentorship for K-12 students as a counselor in Troy Camp, and coach Special Olympics!

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