INBT's International Research Experience for Students (IRES) program immerses students in bioengineering research at the Inter-University Microelectronics Centre (IMEC) in Belgium. The goal is to cultivate their perceptions of global challenges in STEM, learn how to collaborate with international partners, and develop their research skills.
Hello all! After
ten weeks in Europe, I am back in the United States!
The end of my
internship involved working more with the 3D printer to create the last two
prototype lenses. I spent much time working with a lab member, Rachid, to
troubleshoot problems with the CAD files and resin that led to frequent failure
of the 3D printer. We successfully printed one of the lenses that I was able to
test experimentally in the lab and obtain preliminary waveform data. My mentors
informed me that they intend to continue with my project after I leave and will
keep me updated!
Hopefully I can
continue using the engineering techniques I learned like finite element
analysis and signal processing in my future research and coursework like
Systems and Controls. Experience with CAD and 3D printing will also be helpful
for creating prototypes for BME Design Teams, which I will be applying for
Returning to the
US felt strange after spending such a long time in Europe. Leuven was basically
my home for ten weeks. I adapted to the language barrier and new lifestyle over
several weeks, but it all ended abruptly with returning my imec badge one day
and flying out the next. Over the last two weeks, I enjoyed my last Liege
waffle covered in dark Belgian chocolate at Gaufry’s in Leuven and traditional
Flemish beef stew. Chris, Lakyn, Stephanie, and I spent our last night in
Leuven at Oude Markt.
the 8-hour flight back, I was excited to see the ocean and an abundance of
dining options (especially large breakfasts which were only available in
London!). At the same time, I miss the architecture, desserts like chocolate
and waffles, and spicy meals like the European version of Chicken Tikka Masala
and the Samourai sauce in Durum wraps.
All in all, this
was by far the most exciting summer of my life! I visited seven countries and
did my first paid internship and first experience working in industry. The
cultural immersion, professional networking, and engineering experience make
this summer exciting, productive, and unforgettable.
Signorelli is a second year biomedical engineering student.
Flemish Beef Stew
A sunset from my window at Wisteria in the nights before I left