Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Summer Reflections

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 junior year!

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.

After enduring 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.
Michael Signorelli is a second year biomedical engineering student.

Flemish Beef Stew

A sunset from my window at Wisteria in the nights before I left

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