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The Top Ten Moments of iBioMed's First Five YearsJune 16, 2022

This spring iBioMed is turning five and celebrating its first-ever graduating class. As we look back and contemplate the first five years of this innovative and exciting program, we realize that there’s a lot to celebrate.

In no particular order, here are our top ten moments of iBioMed’s first five years.

iBioMed students displaying their design project and the 1P10 showcase

1) iBioMed Design and Poster Showcases

iBioMed’s hands-on and experiential learning approach has given students an opportunity to collaborate on engineering and healthcare-related design projects with fellow classmates, faculty, industry professionals, and real-life clients. Projects range from designing hip implants in first year to developing genetic engineering solutions in second year, and presenting award-winning Capstone projects in 5th year.

Check out projects from the 2022 iBioMed Final Showcase

Check out first-year design projects from 1P10’s 2020 Design Expo

2) iBioMed Ambassadors and iBioMed Society

It’s impossible to talk about five year’s worth of achievements without mentioning iBioMed’s Ambassadors and the iBioMed Society.

As the official representatives of all iBioMed students, the iBioMed Society makes sure all students’ voices are heard. Whether it’s offering academic supports, social events or making sure you get the latest iBioMed swag, the iBioMed Society has played a huge role in ensuring a positive experience for all students.

Here are just a few examples of the many events and initiatives the Society has led over the past five years:

  • Biomedical, Bioengineering, Biotechnology Industry Nights
  • iBioBuds, iBioMed Society’s Mentorship Program, and APEx (Academic Peer Exchange)
  • Exam Review Series
  • Social events such as Trivia Nights, Pumpkin Paint Nights, and Bowling Nights
  • iBioMed Soccer Tournaments

If you’ve ever attended a McMaster Open House, or checked out iBioMed’s social channels, chances are you’ve interacted with an iBioMed Ambassador. These students are the official representatives of the iBioMed Program, and bring passion, professionalism, and creativity to everything they do.

Here are just a few examples of Ambassador-led initiatives and content creation:

Picture of ibiomed students with ibiomed instructor after they threw pie in his face on Pi Day

3) Pi Day 2019

Anyone who’s taken a course with Dr. Colin McDonald, knows that he takes a creative and engaging approach with his courses. Anyone remember Pi Day 2019?

During his 1P10 lecture, Dr. McDonald invited students to pi(e) him in the face. Despite exams being just around the corner, some very brave students stepped up to the challenge!

picture of grads throwing their caps in the air

4) iBioMed Grads

It’s hard to celebrate iBioMed’s first graduating class without mentioning…well, its first gradating class. This spring, iBioMed will see a group of BME and HESE grads start a new chapter in their lives, careers, and education.

As iBioMed’s experienced and innovative grads enter the workforce, or further their educational journey, they will continue to represent the program by bringing their valuable insights, and in-demand skills and experience to every situation and challenge.

Here are just some of the things iBioMed grads are doing:

  • Pursuing a Master’s in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto
  • Pursuing a Master’s in Biomedical Engineering at McMaster University
  • Pursuing Medical School at the University of Toronto
  • Pursuing Medical School at the University of British Columbia
  • Travelling before pursuing a career in the industry
  • Pursuing Medical School at the University of Calgary

screenshot of a group of design-a-thon participants in Microsoft Teams

 5) iBioMed Presents Design Like a Girl

In summer 2021, iBioMed launched Design Like a Girl, a two-day design-a-thon that introduced female-identifying high school students to the world of STEM.

Attendees took interactive workshops in coding, design thinking, how to give a pitch, electronics and sensors, and how to create state diagrams. In teams, attendees created solutions to a healthcare problem using the tools learned in workshops. They then pitched their solutions to a team of judges on day-two.

Learn more about Design Like a Girl.

an iBioMed student programming at a computer

6) iBioMed CONNECT

In summer of 2019, iBioMed developed CONNECT, and 5-day workshop that aims to ease the transition from high school to university. This workshop is offered to incoming iBioMed students, and introduces them to concepts and programs they will encounter during their studies.

Students learn Python, Raspberry Pi, AutoDesk Inventor, and more while being mentored by upper-year iBioMed students and faculty.

This hugely successful events gives new iBioMed students a chance to meet new classmates, make new friends and prepare for the new school year!

Learn more about CONNECT.

Information about the 2022 offering will be available soon!

7) Award-Winning Students

Where to begin! iBioMed students have achieved some amazing things over the past five years (this could be its own article!).

From award-winning devices to dominating at hack-a-thons, here are just a few awards and achievements of iBioMed students:

Guided Hands

Lianna Genovese, Level 5 Mechanical and Biomedical Engineering, developed the award-winning Guided Hands device. What started out as a first-year project in IBEHS 1P10 has turned into an invention that has won multiple national and international awards. Learn more about Guided Hands

Gold in UTSC Scinapse Undergraduate Science Case Competition

In 2018, a group of iBioMed students won gold for their project “What the Frack is this?” This group of students used design thinking and nanotechnology to solve groundwater contamination. Learn more about this project and award

iBioMed Graduation Awards

New this spring (2022), iBioMed is awarding several grads with awards celebrating achievements throughout their time in iBioMed.

Awards and award winners include:

  • Lianna Genovese, The iBioMed Innovation Award
  • Konrad Grala and Jeff Suitor, The iBioMed Leadership Award
  • Yumna Irfan, The iBioMed Community Impact Award
  • Yumna Irfan, Harshil Modi, Vikash Nanthakumar, Zarik Virani, The iBioMed Top Academic Award

Other iBioMed student awards include, but are not limited to:

  • iBioMed students win MacHacks
  • The TD Scholarship for Community Leadership, valued at $70,000
  • The Loran Scholarship, valued at $100,000
  • ArcelorMittal Dofasco FIRST Robotics Entrance Scholarship, valued at $15,000
  • NSERC Undergraduate Student Research Awards (USRA)
  • Capstone Expo Awards for Most Likely to Win Dragons’ Den, and Best Design of Accessibility
  • Provost’s Honour List

picture of award-winning iBioMed instructors

 8) Award-Winning Faculty and TAs:

One of the things that makes iBioMed so unique and cutting-edge is its award-winning faculty and TAs.

This dedicated group of individuals go above and beyond to offer a valuable learning experience for all students.

Some awards include:

group of ibiomed students at a social event

9) iBioMed Community and Social Events

From monthly themed open houses to fitness challenges, Welcome Week orientation, and Year-End Socials, there is no shortage of events that bring the iBioMed family together.

10) New Courses

As the iBioMed family continues to grow, so do iBioMed's course offerings. New additions include IBEHS 1EP6 – Entrepreneurship in Biomedical Innovation: From Bench to Market. This course helps students think bigger about the molecular world.

iBioMed also saw the addition of IBEHS 4EE6 – Innovators in Scrubs. This course teams HESE students up with clinical leads at Hamilton Health Sciences and St. Joseph’s Healthcare.

group of ibiomed students at a social event

11) YOU - the iBioMed students!

We know we said this was a top 10 list, but we're turning it all the way up to 11! It hardly seems right to leave out iBios. iBioMed students have made the first five years of this program a success. With their collaborative approach, and creative and innovative ideas, iBioMed’s inaugural class has set the bar pretty high.

Thank you to our students, and all members of the iBioMed family, for an amazing start to what we’re sure will be a long-lasting, thriving, and innovative program.