My name is Mila, I was one of BCIT’s Bloggers and I am currently in my 4th year of the Mechanical Engineering Degree program. A requirement of my program was to complete a 3-month summer work term to gain work experience in an engineering field prior to graduation. I was very lucky to get a summer position working at MAKE+ in BCIT’s Centre for Applied Research and Innovation (CARI). I wanted to tell you all about my experience at the CARI lab.
During my placement I worked on a device called the Portable Diagnostics Lab, which will be used to test for Pneumonia in low resource countries, in which Pneumonia is still a very big problem. My project team consisted of myself, a Biomedical Engineering Masters student from UBC and the Director of MAKE+ Nancy Paris. I was given my own laptop and cubicle located in the center of the office space to do my work.
After my first week at the CARI lab I had met almost everyone in the office. The group working at MAKE+ was very welcoming and I could tell they would help me out whenever I had any questions. A few weeks into my placement and I was right! Everyone was eager to help me out when I had questions or to show me what they have been working on knowing my interest in Biomedical Engineering. MAKE+ is a small but diverse group consisting of CAD specialists, an industrial designer, electrical engineers, and shop and prototype wizards.
I spent my first week reading up on the background of the device and then began with recreating a second prototype for testing. I had access to all of the shop equipment in the big workshop, the small electronics Alpha lab, and the new soft shop. I used the industrial printers in the big lab to print the new prototype. Following the assembly of the prototype, we used ISO standards for medical device enclosures to conduct several tests on the device enclosure. My work term included testing the current prototype and researching new design ideas. At the end of my work term I was able to make some recommendations on adding bumpers and weatherproofing the 3D printed device to make it waterproof.
I really enjoyed my work term at the CARI lab. I learned a lot about the design and development of medical devices and I got to work with a great team of people. I made some great connections that I am actually working with for my final capstone project. I loved working at the CARI lab and would jump at any opportunity to work with the team there again!