Janele Archibald, MS Bioengineering:
Applying Design Expertise to Improve Patient Outcomes
Janele Archibald was always passionate about engineering. However, she had also wanted to work in the healthcare sector since she was young, and wanted to have a direct positive effect on patients. When she finished her mechanical engineering degree at Grove City College, she hoped to build upon the technical knowledge she had gained by learning how to translate it into creating and commercializing medical products. She was drawn to the CMI program at the Swanson School of Engineering by its broad focus on the entire product development process and direct clinical observations and experiences. In her words, “Ever since high school I knew I wanted to work in the medical device industry to combine my passions for design and engineering with healthcare and the opportunity to improve patient lives. After finishing my degree in mechanical engineering, I felt I had a good technical knowledge base to then build upon in graduate school. The Professional MS program in Bioengineering was the perfect fit for what I was looking for, an opportunity to learn more about the medical product development process while making connections in academic and clinical settings.”
Once in the CMI program, Janele had the opportunity to work on several projects focused on improving patient outcomes after orthopedic injuries. She had the opportunity to directly observe several orthopedic reconstruction surgeries performed by Dr. Volker Musahl, as well as interview the physicians and nurses involved in ` procedures. From her observations, she worked on designing improvements to suturing techniques used in ligament repairs. Later on in the program, she worked with other students on a capstone project to design, prototype, and create a business plan for a physical therapy monitoring device designed to improve outpatient compliance.
After completing the medical product engineering professional master’s degree in December 2015, Janele started working at Bayer, Inc in Pittsburgh PA as a systems engineer. She describes her work as “defining product requirements and system architecture as well as solving technical problems that arise in the product development process. I have the opportunity to work on multidisciplinary teams to develop products that will help to improve patient care, which is extremely rewarding.” She continues to use the knowledge and skills she gained from the CMI program, telling us “I would encourage anyone who is at all interested in the medical device industry, from small startups to larger, more established medical companies, to pursue courses through CMI. The courses will help to develop a deeper understanding of the way the medical industry works, while providing a unique hands-on experience to develop skills.”