Pitt | Swanson Engineering

Casey McBride

Major: Bioengineering (Minors in Chemistry and Mechanical Engineering)
Hometown: Lumberton, NJ
High School: Rancocas Valley Regional High School (RV)

Why you chose Pitt:


I chose Pitt for a variety of reasons. First, I planned on majoring in Bioengineering (possibly Pre-Med track at the time) and I liked that UPMC was right around the corner and super accessible. Second, despite thinking I wanted a non-urban campus, I fell in love with Pittsburgh.  I knew I wanted to be near a city, but at Pitt you really can explore Pittsburgh and it was small enough to feel like I had a place here. And lastly, the opportunities seemed endless. The engineering school didn’t shut me down when I said I wanted to study abroad, but presented me with a multitude of options. You want to research? No problem, there’s tons of faculty on campus excited to take on undergrads. Overall, I loved the atmosphere here.




Advice to First Year Engineering Student:


Keep an open-mind and realize that plans change and that’s okay.  I came into Pitt thinking I knew exactly what I was doing, but Freshman year I really went through a soul searching process where I questioned my major and what I really wanted to do.  The great thing is, at Pitt you can try anything.  You really just need to experience to get a true feel for what you like and dislike.  Join clubs, try research, find a co-op or internship and eventually you’ll find something you’re really passionate about.  You might get a little lost along the way and question your chosen path at that moment, but that’s the beauty of the journey and one thing I’ve learned at Pitt is that change is expected and that’s okay.  Plus there’s a ton of people at Pitt who care about you and want to see you succeed, from your peers, Freshman Advisor, peer advisor, and the faculty.  So you’re never alone in this thing we call engineering school.




Extracurricular involvement and or Future Goals:


 I studied abroad following my freshman year through a program called Plus3, and travelled to and throughout China for two weeks.  I also started research the summer after Freshman year and continue to research in the same lab, the Adipose Stem Cell Center, where I work with drug delivery systems. I amazingly was even able to present my research at the Biomedical Engineering Society Conference in Tampa in October 2016. I’m also involved in a few clubs here at Pitt including: Engineers Without Borders as the Grants lead and part of the biosand filter design team, Design Hub as a design team lead for a medical device project and Phi Sigma Rho (the social engineering sorority here at Pitt), where I serve as the service chair.  Off campus, I volunteer at the VA hospital and an organization called Global Links. One of my favorite experiences since coming to Pitt, was travelling with Circle of Sisterhood and BuildOn to Nicaragua to help build a school that Pitt Panhellenic Council funded. In the future, I’m hoping to work in industry to design sustainable medical equipment for low resource environments.