With support from BioEngage, the UW Bioengineering Biotech Industry Exploration Program held a successful and energetic on-site event with Physio-Control on April 6, 2016.  The Biotech Industry Exploration Program is an undergraduate honors project which aims to give students exposure to industry through visits to local companies.

Located in nearby Redmond, Physio-Control is the world leader in the development, manufacture, sale, and service of external defibrillator/monitors and emergency medical response products and services in emergency medical equipment like AEDs (automated external defibrillators) and automated mechanical chest compression devices.  Their mission is to build lifesaving tools of the highest quality for lifesaving teams.  They are the second largest medical device manufacturer in the Puget Sound area by number of employees, as reported by the Puget Sound Business Journal in May, 2015.

A group of 16 UW Bioengineering students and faculty members Chris Neils and Barry Lutz attended the April 6 Lunch & Learn event.  The group met with R&D, clinical, and marketing, employees at Physio-Control, who shared their own roles at Physio-Control and offered advice for bioengineering students interested in the biotech industry.  Physio-Control offered an extensive tour of their campus, including concept design and engineering, device performance analysis, manufacturing, and psychoacoustic study in their unique Sound Lab.

After the event, students had very positive feedback about the event, saying they were impressed by the passionate Physio employees and had a better understanding of a workplace environment in the biomed industry.  They also said that they have a clearer view of which steps to take to prepare for careers after graduating. A few of the comments have been copied below.

The passion and expertise that so many of the employees had acquired was remarkable. Their curiosity for their respective topics seemed endless, and was something I hope I can acquire in my future job as well.

Hearing the experience of people who studied the same general field in college, I now have a better sense of what I can do with my degree. The staffs also offered us useful advice on how to perform well in interviews and workplaces, so now I have a good idea of the next steps should take.

Hearing honest personal testimonies from employees was very helpful, and it was eye-opening to see how everyone clearly loves their jobs.

It was highly encouraging to see that one’s career path is not strictly defined by a specific course of study. Instead, a strong willingness to learn and good work ethic ultimately makes the difference.


The Biotech Industry Exploration Program aims to deepen bioengineering undergraduates’ understanding of industry specifically by organizing visits to local biotech companies.  The program is a joint effort with BioEngage.  Contact Minghui Shi, Doan Dinh, or Gina Hansen at biotechindustryexp@gmail.com

UW Bioengineering’s BioEngage program seeks to build mutually beneficial relationships with biomedical industry, with the goal of increasing engagement of BioE students and faculty with the biomedical translation-commericalization sector (for-profit companies, nonprofit organizations, entrepreneurs and investors). Learn more about BioEngage.