What led you to choose science and/or engineering as a career, particularly in the medical device field?
Guler: I always had a great interest in math and science when I was a kid. I used to play with electronic devices at home and try to fix the broken parts. So, actually, this interest started at a very early age. After I moved to the United States, I saw the quality of research being conducted in the biomedical field. The number of opportunities and incentives are tremendous here. This continues to motivate me because when I spend an effort on creating something, I know that there are available resources and people who know the value of the work to support me.
What has been your most rewarding moment/accomplishment as an engineer/scientist in the medical field?
Guler: The transition from the design stage of an idea to the test stage is a fantastic feeling. When the device starts to function in a way that you have designed it, you finally get to see all the math and science equations that you worked so hard on start to operate like magic. Another rewarding moment for me is seeing the growth of my graduate and undergraduate students, how they start to build up their knowledge and position themselves in their chosen field.
What advice would you give to other women looking to work in biomedical engineering and science?
Guler: Once you have determined your interest and understand your talents that will help make you successful, start to learn as much as you can about the topic. Make it your passion, and learn about research opportunities, networking groups, and support systems. Try to reach out to organizations and get some responsibilities to be a part of a community. That will open up a big network of people who are willing to help with the promotion of passionate juniors. At the end of the day, every effort they put in will contribute to advancing the knowledge and tools to better human health. This is the ultimate motivation and reward.
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- Ulkuhan Guler, Assistant Professor, Worcester Polytechnic Institute
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