“I was accepted to the University of Washington bioengineering department through the direct freshman admit program. Coming to college, I didn’t know exactly what bioengineering entailed, but after taking the introductory courses I decided to continue with the major.
I have been researching in Dr. Gerald Pollack’s lab since the end of sophomore year. I used the BioE website to find faculty whose research aligned with my interests. The Pollack Lab wanted underclassmen who wanted to gain experience and contribute to the lab, so I was able to start researching early in my college experience. The lab focuses on global health and water accessibility in low resource areas. My project focuses on energy free water desalination; it’s something I started working on a couple of years ago and it really resonated with me.
I plan to continue my project in the Pollack Lab as part of the BS/MS option that BioE offers. I’ve really enjoyed the research and I hope to work with desalination for a start-up company after I complete my master’s degree.
I was also able to do research in Australia for a summer through a program that the advisors advertised. The program was through the University of Western Australia in Perth where I spent eight weeks working with optical coherence tomography (OCT). OCT is very similar to ultrasound, but uses light instead of sound. It can be used to image anything transparent, and is commonly used to image the eye. My project was to improve imaging depth sensitivity in OCT. I also was able to travel around Australia and meet other researchers in the University.
My advice to future students is to not be put off by the rigors of the core curriculum. It is very busy, but after the first few quarters it gets better.”