Research Outside of the BIOE Department

If a research lab in another department catches your eye, don’t be afraid to reach out! It can be a great way to gain experiences outside of the bioengineering curriculum and explore other interests.

“Doing research outside of bioengineering allowed me to explore other areas of research that interested me. I have worked in Ying Diao’s lab in the Chemical and Biomolecular engineering department on two different projects. The first project focused on optimizing large area blade coating of bottle-brush block copolymers. Blade coating is a type of 3D printing that uses a long flat blade to drag an amount of pipetted solution across a substrate of interest. I learned about different chemical properties of block copolymers and how changing different printing conditions such as speed, temperature and volume can change the mechanical and visual properties of printed films. I am now working on a second NASA funded project in this lab where we are developing sensors that can track plant growth in space. The goal is to allow astronauts to cultivate fresh fruits and vegetables during long term space missions and eliminate dependence on freeze dried foods. I have been in charge of the 3D printing process of the sensors and overcoming challenges like reproducibility, flexibility and efficiency. These two experiences have been really eye opening and I have learned a lot of new skill sets that I wouldn’t have learned otherwise from my bioengineering classes. I was able to join the lab after seeing a posting in the Engineering Undergraduate Newsletter. They send out weekly updates with labs currently searching for undergrads. Don’t be afraid to explore opportunities outside of your major!”

Jackie Hagel, ’23