Editor's note: This is part of a series of profiles for spring 2016 commencement. See the rest here.
Biomedical engineering doctorate student Priya Nair always wanted to study an unconventional engineering field. She chose biomedical engineering, which was a relatively new major offered in Indian universities when she began her undergraduate study near her hometown of Chennai, India. Once she saw how she could apply engineering concepts to the medical field, she realized she had found her calling.
Nair was chosen to be a speaker at Arizona State University's Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering convocation on Wednesday, May 11. Here she answers some questions about her time spent at ASU.
Question: Why did you choose to come to ASU?
Answer: The research conducted at the Ira A. Fulton Schools of Engineering is outstanding, and that was one of the main factors I looked into while choosing graduate schools. That quality of research combined with excellent faculty made ASU my top choice!
Q: Was there a particular “aha!” moment when you knew that you were on the right path?
A: I was always interested in working on aspects related to the human body. This led me to choose biomedical engineering as my undergraduate major. It was during a bioinstrumentation class in my sophomore year that I realized I was on the right path. The prospect of developing techniques to fix diseases excited me, and I knew that I wanted to go to graduate school to learn more about this amazing engineering field.
My adviser, associate professor David Frakes, has inspired me with his vision of applying engineering principles to medical problems, such as 3-D printing congenital heart models for pre-surgical planning and investigating blood flow in the brain to understand how treatments alter that flow. The various collaborations he has established as a professor at ASU have given me the freedom to explore what I enjoy and provided me with plenty of opportunities.
Q: What are your plans after graduation? Graduate school? Do you have a job lined up?
A: I am graduating with a PhD in biomedical engineering this semester, and I’ll be staying on as a postdoctoral fellow in Dr. Frakes’ lab to continue working on cardiovascular biofluid research.
Q: How do you see your future? What is your dream for your life?
A: My long-term career aspiration is to work in academia as a professor and research techniques to better understand causes and treatment solutions to cardiovascular diseases.
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