A note from CIRP@CHOP Training Manager Carol Murray, MSS, MLSP: Today we are pleased to welcome a guest blog post from Ridhi Sahani, who recently graduated with a BS in Biomedical Engineering from Bucknell University and participated in the Injury Science Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program at CIRP in 2017. She plans to pursue a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Virginia in the fall.
As I began my junior year in college, I was very unsure of my pathway after graduation. With a background in biomedical engineering, I was excited to apply for several positions within this field. I was torn between whether to pursue graduate school or seek out a position in industry. However, I knew that I was passionate about biomechanics and injury prevention, leading me to apply to the Injury Science Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) Program at CIRP.
Participating in the program the summer after my junior year was extremely impactful in informing my next steps. Working in the Engineering Core on the Low Acceleration Time Extended (LATE) Project showed me the application of engineering skills in a research setting. I was able to gain hands-on skills and work with human volunteers.
I was also able to follow through with my own research question and presented a poster at the Biomedical Engineering Society Conference: The Influence of Bracing on Kinematic Response of Occupants in Pre-Crash Evasive Swerving Maneuvers. By attending this conference I was exposed to the wide range of research in biomedical engineering and had the opportunity to present my own work.
Under the mentorship of Thomas Seacrist and in working with members of CIRP, I learned about several career paths in the research field. Not only was I able to experience research myself, but I was also able to work with current graduate students and gain information about their decision processes. Additionally, the REU seminars were very helpful by bringing in guests that also spoke about their own research experiences.
After my summer with the REU program at CIRP, I knew I wanted to continue doing research within engineering and to remain in the injury prevention field so that I could apply the skills I gained during my REU experience. I decided to apply to graduate school and to continue to receive mentorship from Thomas Seacrist and Dr. Kristy Arbogast.
I was very well prepared for the application process after the Injury Science REU Program and was looking for a lab with a similar culture to CIRP. This fall I will be joining Dr. Silvia Blemker's Multiscale Muscle Mechanophysiology Lab at the University of Virginia and working towards a PhD in Biomedical Engineering. My REU experience definitely prepared me for my future.
**Like what you’ve read? Subscribe to Research in Action to have the latest in child injury prevention delivered to your inbox.**