Undergraduate Research: Biomedical Engineering

Cornell Engineering student ParkerAs a biomedical engineering major here at Cornell, like many others, I was looking for a way to gain experience outside of my coursework. There are over 10 research labs just in the BME department alone, with each one specializing in a different angle in biomedical research: bone biomechanics, genetic engineering, medical imaging, and many more. I was accepted into a position at the Butcher lab, which focuses on studying the effects of mechanical forces on cardiovascular diseases. My main project within the lab is to make improvements to our 3D bioprinting technology. 3D bioprinting is one of the hot topics in cellular tissue engineering, allowing the printing of complex structures for studying diseases, devices, and someday even living prosthetics.

One of the best benefits of getting into research at Cornell is being able to get hands on experience with state-of-the-art technology as an undergraduate. In BME, this extends from commercial medical imaging technology all the way to advanced engineering simulation, all things that can be a huge help further down into your career. But beyond just the hard skills and technology, working in a lab can be a great way to build a strong network. You can build connections with current lab members and alumni, which can give you an edge when looking for internship or career opportunities. I was able to speak with many lab members working out in the field to open up internship doors throughout the past year.

Cornell Engineering student ParkerLastly, being a Cornell researcher means access to unparalleled mentorship. Be it the graduate lead of my project or a senior lab member, I have received tons of advice when it comes to career planning and building a skillset from the lab. Cornell’s commitment to a cooperative and interdisciplinary research approach means that you will be able to work directly with experienced lab members, something second to none for someone trying to make big achievements as an engineer.

—Parker, biomedical engineering