Andy BanksOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Mechanical Engineering
Class of 2010

“My experiences with my senior design project and taking the Medical Applications course reinforced my determination to enter the world of medical device design.”

Before he even graduated with his bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering, Andy Banks ’10 knew he wanted to pursue a career in the medical device field. “If it wasn’t for my ME professors Dr. Rizza and Dr. Liu, I doubt I would have gotten so heavily involved in the medical field. My experiences with my senior design project and taking the Medical Applications course reinforced my determination to enter the world of medical device design,” he said.

His senior design project not only familiarized him with the field of medical devices, it provided him with valuable real-world experience that helped to land him a job with Medtronic, a leading medical device manufacturer in California. “My senior design project, An Implant for Passive Scoliosis Prevention, gave me the experience to see a design through to production and to develop a product with very few funds – the type of experience that Medtronic was looking for. My research work to design a special fixture to apply controlled torque on segmented bodies received national recognition when I was awarded Best Poster Finalist at the 2010 ASME SBC conference in Naples, Fla. The day after I interviewed with Medtronic–the same day I presented my poster– Medtronic called me with a job offer!”

Andy credits MSOE with helping to prepare him for his career at Medtronic. “My education at MSOE helped me prepare for my career through a rigorous, fast-paced trimester system, and through its focus on hands on learning. The time I spent in the machine shop at MSOE has helped me the greatest overall, as it gave me a foundation for design, and showed me the importance of proper design practices.”

When it comes to offering advice to other MSOE students, Andy recommending finding an industry or field that you are interested in. “Find an industry you are passionate about and put in the effort to break into that industry. You will spend a lot of time at work, so it’s important to like what you do, not just to like being paid.”

Andy’s hard work and passion for what he does has paid off. In May 2012, he was named “Medtronic’s Endovascular Technical Contributor of the Year,” the least-senior person ever to receive the award at Medtronic.

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