Madeline Powers is always up for a challenge and stepping outside of her comfort zone.

“I chose to come to MSOE because I wanted a challenge. My high school was highly competitive in academics and so I wanted a college that would match that environment. MSOE was the perfect fit.”

Powers is originally from Somonauk, Illinois, a small town west of Chicago. She found her interest in biomedical engineering after volunteering at Marklund, a home for individuals with mild to severe developmental disabilities and special needs.

“I saw the abundance of medical equipment that helped the nurses perform their everyday tasks from helping the client out of bed, bathing the client and other therapeutic activities,” said Powers.

This intrigue originally inspired Powers to pursue a career in nursing, however after her first year at a community college, she eventually discovered it wasn’t as much the role of the nurses that she was interested in, but the equipment they used. She decided to make the switch from nursing to biomedical engineering and attend MSOE.

“This was a big shift and definitely outside of my comfort zone, but I was excited to learn more about the medical equipment similar to what was used at Marklund and also to improve the technology in any way in order to make nurses’ jobs easier,” said Powers. “I found the field of biomedical engineering to be intriguing because it paired my passion for biology and medicine with engineering principles that aim to better people’s lives through the advancement of medical technology.”

Powers is making a difference in peoples’ lives as a CREATE Student Fellow. “Being a Student Fellow feels like I am part of this great community of leaders that supports me in all aspects of my life. I am looking forward to the many exciting projects we will be working on and the people I will help along the way.”

As a CREATE Student Fellow, Powers works on real-world projects alongside other students, faculty, staff and industry partners to make a positive impact on the community. She first became involved with the CREATE Institute during the 2020-21 Desk Drive where students came together to design, construct, assemble and distribute 100 desks to local K-12 students to accommodate online learning. In this project, Powers oversaw the manufacturing of the desks during build sessions to ensure safety protocols were being followed. She also helped with the design process to ensure the desks were structurally sound.

“I was tasked with coming up with a solution to the lateral shifting of the desks that was later realized during the assembly of the desks. I found that a wooden dowel placed between the side and top of the desk decreased the shifting and increased the stability of the desks.”

Powers values the experiences CREATE has provided her to advance her skillsets as a leader as well as grow her entrepreneurial mindset and MSOE Mindset. And, most importantly, she enjoys collaborating with her community.

“Being a CREATE Student Fellow is fun in that we are a diverse group of students from all types of backgrounds that come together to solve problems around campus as well as in the community. CREATE has continually challenged me to step outside my comfort zone through different projects.”

Outside of CREATE, Powers also is involved in Art and Design Club, which fosters her creative side, as well as Robotics Surgery Club, which hone her innovative ideas.