BIE 2017: Presenting Our Findings & Final Thoughts

BIE-to-BEGROw Expo

BIE Cohort, BEGROw students, and Terry Johnson listen to the presentation

The 2017 BIE Cohort had the opportunity to explain the engineering design process and to share about our experiences visiting various clinics and sites to students in BEGROw, a program that offers incoming sophomore bioengineers at UC Berkeley a chance to immerse themselves in research throughout the summer. Our primary goal was to help these students gain a better understanding about what we learned throughout the BIE program. We gave a short presentation explaining all the steps of the design process, introduced an example of writing correct needs statements, and discussed a few of the visits we made in detail, highlighting the top needs we found. We also put together a few activities such as “the 30 circles challenge” to help engage the students and to prove that finding needs requires creativity. After the presentation, the BIE cohort and the BEGROw students sat in a circle for a time of Q&A. As rising seniors and recent graduates, we were able to answer many questions that the students had regarding the BIE program, but also about research and bioengineering at Berkeley in general. Furthermore, we got to know the BEGROw students more and to learn about the research that they were a part of over the summer.

Final Thoughts

With the program coming to an end, we wanted to take a look back at some of the accomplishments for the BIE 2017 cohort:

  • 16 Clinic & Site Visits
  • 94 Deliverables
  • 685 Unmet Needs
  • 706 Miles Traveled
  • 7 Lectures
  • 6 Videos
  • 19 Blog Posts
UCSF Medical Center where we observed many different procedures

BIE was a rich experience to observe many different clinical procedures in hopsitals at UCSF and SFGH. We also got to see various other sites including nonprofit organizations like Medshare, startups like Diassess, and large for-profit companies like Intuitive Surgical and IDEO. Here’s what some of the BIE cohort had to say about the program:

“BIE helped me see how medicine and bioengineering intersect and made me even more excited to pursue the path of medicine. The program gave me the opportunity to visit a wide variety of clinical sites and open my eyes to fields I previously did not know much about. Through practicing the needs-finding process over and over, I not only familiarized myself with the first part of the biodesign process, but also honed my observation skills and got the chance to interact with clinicians.”

“Since I’m pretty confident in conducting background research and other beginning parts of the biodesign process, I feel like I can start on the right foot for capstone in the fall. Knowing where to go to ask for help about certain things like intellectual property, FDA regulations, and electronics might also prove helpful in the future, even if I’m still no expert on those subjects.”

“Through BIE, I identified certain fields that I wasn’t interested in, which I had been ambivalent to before. Now having crossed out these possibilities, I am comfortable knowing that I am not pursuing a specific field without really have considered other opportunities, and confident that I am pursuing what I am passionate about.”

“This program has definitely given me the ability to enter a space and make observations to find problems and unmet needs, which is applicable to much more than just the clinical space.”

Overall, we had an unforgettable summer experience filled with rich connections and instructive visits. We look forward to seeing how our work will continue in next year’s BIE!

BIE 2017 Cohort with Professor Amy Herr


BIE 2017 Cohort