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Melissa Brown

#iAmBiomed because I want to help people and make a difference.
Melissa's Biography

I grew up in Trinidad and Tobago and moved to Canada to pursue my undergraduate and Master’s degrees in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto. After working at Baylis Medical for one year in an R&D engineer role on peripheral arterial devices, I moved to Abbott Point of Care (Ottawa), where I have been for the past 5 years in various Quality and Manufacturing Support roles. In my free time I enjoy trying to find the tastiest asian food in Ottawa, cycling and knitting (when it’s cold out).

My current job title is Senior Product Engineer. I investigate product issues, ensure that product claims and regulatory compliance are maintained and strategize and execute projects to improve efficiency and product performance.

Definitely interacting with coworkers. There’s such a wide range of talent, personalities and interests that you can learn so many things (about work, life and everything in between) even from just a 15 minute conversation over a coffee break.

It has given me the ability to tackle problems logically and with a data driven approach. My degree gave me a broad understanding of various engineering disciplines and concepts, allowing me to branch out to understand more technical aspects of product design or chemical processes. I have used this understanding to become a technical expert by gaining a fuller understanding of the products and processes involved in my job function.

How many different fields and applications there are under the umbrella of ‘engineering’. When you are in school each field of engineering can seem very separate but in reality there is a lot of crossover and a lot of room to grow and expand into multiple ‘different’ engineering fields.

A project I did as a student to remove a $1M/yr process bottleneck in a chemical fertilizer manufacturing plant. It was my first experience working with an engineering team in the ‘real world’. I got to walk on the plant and see exactly where my changes would be made which really transferred the project from paper to reality.

My favourite subject was Biology but I also had an interest in how things worked and in making them better. In a choice between engineering and medical school, engineering won. Biomedical Engineering seemed to be a great balance between the two and delved into a lot of new and exciting technologies.

That it will be seen as normal or even expected that young women declare an interest in engineering and that there is support and guidance for them to succeed. In my work, I try to mentor and encourage the young female engineers I interact with to build their confidence and come into their own.

Go for what interests you and don’t stop learning. Challenge yourself – say yes to an opportunity to do something new/different even if you’re not sure it’s something you can do.

Through outreach and professional development activities, research, partnerships, thought leadership and online initiatives, we work with industry and academia to educate on the value of diversity for innovation, to inspire women to thrive and to celebrate the contributions of women in science and engineering.
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