Academic Interests in Biomedical Engineering
Statement of Purpose-Stannert
I have always felt inspired to improve upon the things I encounter, leaving situations or circumstances better than how I found them. I was raised with a strong work ethic, taking responsibility seriously, standing up for my beliefs, and always maintaining accountability for my actions. From the time I was a little boy, I have always been a dreamer with a desire to do something great.
My interest in biomedical engineering is in part due to a new career path I embarked upon with the creation of a new medical device startup company that myself and two other engineers founded in 2016. The unique mix of engineering, medicine and life sciences provides a diversity not readily seen in other fields. There is tremendous potential for research and a need in our health care system for new and advanced treatments, modalities and computational therapies that only recently could be explored due to the exponential growth in technology. I am interested in a variety of research areas that include regenerative medicine for trauma patients and developing biomaterials that could be compatible with living tissue and the bodies’ natural immune system. I am also fascinated by the design and fabrication of biosensors and the mechanical, transport, and compatibility aspects these sensors would need to have in order to work in biomedical instrumentation. To help you understand my current goals and research interests better, I would like to first explain my educational experience up to this point.
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I attended the Samuel Ginn College of Engineering at Auburn University where I completed a non-thesis masters program in chemical engineering. My decision to pursue graduate studies in chem-e was primarily due to a desire to gain a deeper understanding of the theory used in transport, thermo and reaction kinetics as these were the fundamentals continuously challenging my efforts in the systems I designed. In addition, I felt it was important to broaden my horizons and gain relevant exposure in the field of process control equipment. I have spent ten years in industry working as a process engineer, designing and constructing infrastructure for the oil and gas industry.
During the two years of my graduate studies, I gained a deep understanding of these subjects. In addition to my graduate coursework, I received a number of opportunities to work closely with industry leaders and independent laboratories contracted for various design, implementation, and research projects. I worked on key studies within my corporate group analyzing metal fatigue of carbon steel pipelines after years of exposure to paraffin and oil sands to improve separation and entrainment processes. I helped to develop cause and affect diagrams for new control strategies of various unit operations in plant design. I also gained years of experience modeling pipeline hydraulics using state of the art software for computational fluid dynamics, where I developed control measures to help prevent over pressure and hammer conditions leading to blowouts.
Although this experience is not directly related, it was during this time that I realized the similarities between chemical and biomedical engineering being developed in non-traditional fields like medicine and life sciences. My wife is a trauma nurse and works in a level two-trauma center where she has access to state of the art equipment and facilities designed to treat the worst cases imaginable. Our social circle consists primarily of physicians and other engineers which when we get together as couples outside of work, the conversations are often times very cerebral about societal issues, human behavior, illness and the effects on family and possible interventions to solve these issues. I mention this only because I have realized more now than ever that identifying a solution can’t be obtained without first understanding the problem.
I look forward to a transition in my career that is committed to research where I can not only use my academic background to achieve my research goals but also make original scientific contributions to my field of interest and to mankind in general. I believe that the PhD program will provide me with exposure to advanced courses and be the stepping-stone to my career in research. The biomedical engineering program at UND is an excellent possibility. Having already attended there as an undergrad, I am familiar with the quality of instruction, flexibility of the program, diverse areas of research, carefully designed depth and breadth of courses, and cultural diversity in the school, all of which provide the right ambience to nurture my research interests and work towards my goal. It would be a matter of great pride for me to be a part of this rich interdisciplinary heritage once again.
My strengths are a strong academic background, sense of teamwork, integrity and the ability to consistently put forth great effort to advance not only my goals but also that of the department. It is my desire to have a mutually beneficial association with your program and I am aware that UND has high standards for admitting students to its graduate programs. I also believe that my academic credentials, industry experience together with my research interests and potential, make me a viable candidate for admission of which the department will take serious note. I appreciate the time and consideration of the review board.