A day within the lifetime of biomedical engineer Kalifa Clark


I’ve been fond of creating and making issues since childhood. I beloved enjoying with Legos and attending science and engineering camps. I additionally did FIRST robotics in highschool. I beloved collaborating in difficult competitions. I loved engineering probably the most out of all of the STEM actions I participated in. Upon taking a biology class, I spotted that I needed to pursue a profession in engineering in addition to drugs. Then, I later discovered about biomedical engineering, which I’ve been keen about ever since.

I acquired a BS in engineering from Smith Faculty, a ladies’s faculty. Acquired. My faculty counselor was an alumnus there and advisable that I apply. I used to be apprehensive at first as a result of it’s a liberal arts faculty. After visiting there, studying about their engineering program, and seeing how sturdy and sensible the scholars had been, I knew this was the place I’d achieve success. STEM remains to be male-dominated, and I noticed it as an excellent atmosphere that might enable me to thrive and construct my confidence as a feminine engineer. The course gave me a robust, well-rounded basis in engineering. My elective programs centered on mechanical and biomedical engineering.

Moreover, I like studying new languages, so I studied Italian and earned a minor in Italian Language and Literature. Throughout my junior yr I studied overseas in Florence, Italy and took arithmetic and biomedical engineering programs on the College of Florence. Throughout my yr overseas, I discovered extra about biomedical engineering via the Biocompatible Supplies course. As a part of the course, I had the fantastic alternative to shadow surgeons within the operation room. I noticed complete knee and hip substitute surgical procedure. Again then, I knew I needed to design medical gadgets. I additionally participated in cultural organizations, such because the Black Pupil Alliance (BSA) and the Smith African and Caribbean Pupil Affiliation (SACSA), to socialize and assist different college students. The actions I participated in and the individuals I met helped me steadiness my time as a scholar and finish my difficult research.

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At present, I’m an R&D engineer at ConMed, a medical gadget firm. I develop merchandise for sports activities drugs accidents of the knee specializing in ligament reconstructive surgical procedure resembling anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) and posterior cruciate ligament (PCL) procedures. The ACL and PCL stabilize and transfer the knee. Throughout bodily and regular actions, they will burst from twisting, twisting, twisting, falling, or direct influence. As soon as the ligament is torn, the knee turns into unstable with restricted vary of movement; It have to be repaired to revive the pure operate of the knee. Our merchandise are implants and gadgets which can be used to facilitate these surgical procedures that restore ligaments within the affected person’s knees. Implants are sutured screws or buttons designed to repair new ACL or PCL grafts onto the bone of the tibia and femur. The instruments are guides and drills designed to tunnel via the tibia and femur for the placement of the brand new ACL or PCL graft. I like that I get to work with surgeons and that the merchandise I work on assist individuals.

I’ve loved all of the tasks I’ve labored on and haven’t any favorites, however my favourite a part of every challenge is when the prototypes are evaluated. As soon as I end engaged on a prototype, I’ve surgeons take a look at it on an post-mortem. That is an incredible collaborative course of the place surgeons use prototypes in cadaver laboratories to evaluate their scientific use. In a cadaver lab, the surgeon can take a look at the product on a cadaver to see if the brand new product or know-how works. I obtain precious suggestions on the work of prototyping in addition to classes on anatomy and processes.

Women, in case you are all for engineering, pursue your pursuits and by no means hand over in your desires. Search for alternatives that assist you to expertise engineering via faculty actions, golf equipment, shadowing, internships or jobs. If doable, discover a mentor you’ll be able to be taught from and who might be an advocate for you.

  • A day in the life of biomedical engineer Khalifa Clarke Engineer

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    Christine Loh is a PhD scholar in chemical engineering on the College of Minnesota – Twin Cities and Excessive Faculty “Day within the Life” reporter for the SWENext e-newsletter. He graduated from Drexel College in 2020 with a bachelor’s in chemical engineering and his grasp’s in supplies science and engineering.



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