Tuesday, July 28, 2015

BMES and its NAE E4U People’s Choice Award Nomination

Biomedical Engineering Society 

UC San Diego’s Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) is one of the university’s most tightly knit student organizations, featuring a large number of bioengineers and an even larger number of opportunities. According to BMES 2015 President Jessica Lam, “BMES is a pre-professional organization, geared to prepare undergraduate bioengineering students for careers in academia, research, and industry. Aside from its pre-professional focus, it encourages bioengineering students to collaborate and work together, while still having a little bit of fun.”

BMES 2014-2015 Group Photo

Lab Expo 2015
With over seven committees, BMES has different areas of focus, such as coordinating research opportunities and educating about specific STEM fields. The Lab Expo and Project Team Committees work to provide a mix of research opportunities, in bioengineering, biology, and even electrical engineering. The Lab Expo Committee plans the yearly Lab Expo, a showcase of different UC San Diego research labs and positions, linking students directly to potential opportunities. In addition, the Project Team Committee facilitates research project teams, four to five people in size, for which students can apply and gain hands-on experience.

Preliminary design of one of the Project Teams
In terms of developing more awareness of STEM fields, the annual events Bioengineering Day and Translational Medicine Day both serve to educate students and guests in these fields and to feature current research being done by graduate students and professionals. Both events have their own respective committees as well. In particular, Bioengineering Day also provides a “great chance for undergraduate students to talk to the faculty in a more relaxed environment.” Also, Translational Medicine Day is still new, as the first annual event took place earlier this past May, providing exposure to this thriving biomedical field: a way to bridge the gap between the medical research and actual application of such research.

Bowling Night with Engineering World Health (EWH)

What really brings BMES and its members together is the Mentorship Program, led by the Social Committee. Small groups of one upperclassman mentor are matched with a few underclassmen mentees. BMES 2015 VP External Vikash Morar states, “These mentors can assist their mentees with planning their classes, picking their professors, getting lab positions, and answering any other questions that the underclassmen may have with bioengineering or university in general.” Furthermore, the mentors and mentees develop into friends and do more than work together. For many, BMES has served as a second family, a group of people who are guaranteed to “be awake at 4 AM to study with” and who are willing to talk and listen for endless hours about more than just college. “Each individual in the organization brings a different perspective and everyone collectively cares about each other’s successful progression personally, academically, and professionally,” according to 2015 VP Finance Anurag Coramutla.

One of Outreach Committee's Poster Presentations
Outside of its own community, BMES and its members are heavily involved in community service amongst the greater San Diego area through the Outreach Committee. This particular group implements projects to educate middle and high school students about bioengineering, from presentations to featuring hands-on demos. In addition, they have plans to create a tutoring program specifically designed for bioengineers at UC San Diego. BMES also volunteers at major community events, such the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Light the Night Walk and the San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering.

In the words of Lam: “This group of people is definitely a force to be reckoned with, filled with students who are driven to make advances in bioengineering. Without a doubt, BMES is more than just any other organization; it’s a close knit group of brilliantly talented individuals who just want to make engineering more than just being in a lab or doing research. With the events they have put on, and the community that it has built, BMES will surely continue to achieve greatness through its members.”

NAE Engineering For You (E4U) Video Competition

During this past school year, BMES officers decided to create another temporary committee for creating videos, in particular for the National Academy of Engineering (NAE) and its E4U Video Competition. With their committee, BMES members have produced a video entirely under their own imagination and commitment. All components, from scripting to animating, from editing to voice acting, have been student-made.

BMES 2015 VP Internal Michelle Ragsac says, “To be honest, working with the BMES on the animation team was very tough! Many of us didn’t really have the knowledge on the tools needed to do the job and hack together a video…But, the experience was rewarding because everybody worked together. I honestly wouldn’t have some of the friends I have because of that project and I’m really glad to have participated.”

Last year, BMES won $5000 under the title of People’s Choice, and they are in the running for the award again. To win, they need the votes, so if you would like to support BMES and their video, “Engineering for a Better Future,” like the video on Youtube. You can also check out other nominated videos following the competition’s theme of “highlighting how engineering will create a more sustainable, healthy, secure and/or joyous by addressing the NAE Grand Challenges for Engineering.” Go BMES! 

Anurag Coramutla with Bioengineering Faculty at Bioengineering Day 2015
Top Row (left to right): Dr. David A. Gough, Dr. Peter C. Chen
Bottom Row (left to right): Anurag Coramutla, Dr. Shu Chien, Dr. Y.C. Fung, Dr. Geert W. Schmid-Schoenbein
BMES's "Pin the Organ on the Body" Game at San Diego Festival of Science and Engineering (SDFSE) 2015
From left to right: Swetha Prabhakaran, student, Julie Yip
Junkyard Derby 2015
From left to right: Anurag Coramutla, Neil Jethani

BMES Executive Board 2015-2016
Top Row: Vikash Morar
Middle Row (from left to right): Michelle Ragsac, Anurag Coramutla
Bottom Row: Jessica Lam

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