The iBioMed program is pleased to celebrate International Women’s Day 2022 by highlighting noteworthy achievements of the Women in iBioMed. From exciting co-op placements to innovative design projects, the women in iBioMed have inspired many to follow their curiosities, and to keep striving for excellence. The iBioMed program proudly supports a of 55.9% distribution of female students (for the 2020-21 academic term). A diverse representation of students and backgrounds is an integral aspect of the iBioMed program.
“The support system offered by iBioMed has been very helpful. It’s like a big family – we all come from different engineering backgrounds and being able to work together to solve problems is truly incredible”
Meet Shaza Mahyani, an iBioMed student specializing in mechanical and biomedical engineering (BME). Shaza is currently on a co-op work term with HTS Engineering, and has previously worked for Honda in Barrie, ON. She is also the Vice President of Finance for the McMaster University Mechanical Engineering Society.
When asked about her favourite iBioMed memory, Shaza expresses that the design projects included in the iBioMed course work have helped her out immensely, as she credits her engineering successes to the skills gained in collaboration, design thinking, and trouble shooting. “The support system offered by iBioMed has been very helpful,” expresses Shaza. “It’s like a big family – we all come from different engineering backgrounds and being able to work together to solve problems is truly incredible”.
During her time at HTS Engineering, Shaza is working with a team of mechanical engineers to provide service for HVAC equipment. She visits different sites, analyzes, and gathers information about the HVAC equipment, and works toward finding new solutions for complex problems. “Seeing your work come to life, and seeing your projects make a direct impact on the lives of others is a very rewarding experience”, describes Shaza.
Shaza is also actively involved in learning Karate. She advises everyone to pursue something they are curious about, outside of work and school, to simply destress themselves. Shaza expresses, “Pick a challenging task, and allow yourself to work on it. Even if you think you can’t do it, you actually can! Nothing in life is risk-free, so take risks, and know that you will figure everything out. Just don’t be afraid”. By learning Karate alongside her engineering studies, Shaza hopes to expand her skill set, as she continues to explore new areas of interest.
Poonam Saha is a second year iBioMed student specializing in Health, Engineering Science, and Entrepreneurship (HESE).
She has served as an iBioMed Ambassador for two years and is part of the iBioMed Content Creation Committee.
Poonam’s favourite iBioMed experience so far has been developing a hip implant in the first year Health Solutions Design Projects (IBEHS 1P10) course. She expresses, “It was really cool to analyze different patient case studies and see our hip implant designs come to life. Coming into iBioMed, I had heard so much about the project-based learning, but actually experiencing it was such a rewarding experience!”
“Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, if you have a thought, express it! Even if you are wrong, voicing your thoughts will always help you out.”
When asked about International Women’s Day, Poonam believes that women should celebrate all of their interests and embrace the power in their voices. As the Vice President of Events for the iBioMed society, Poonam proudly combines her love for event planning and leadership, with her love for painting. “We host painting nights, and painting is something I absolutely love. So, I thought, why not combine event planning with my interest in painting and create an event that everyone can enjoy!”
Poonam’s main piece of advice is “Don’t be afraid to speak your mind, if you have a thought, express it! Even if you are wrong, voicing your thoughts
will always help you out”. As Poonam advances in her studies, she hopes to continue expanding her knowledge, by exploring new opportunities and interests.
Matana Hendrickson is an iBioMed student in the Engineering Physics stream and has served as a teaching assistant for the iBioMed Health Solutions Design Projects course (IBEHS1P10). She has also participated in the MacEng Musical, McMaster NEUDOSE, and completed a
co-op term with Epineuron, a medical device company focusing on nerve injury care.
“Seeing your work directly make an impact is very inspiring. It encourages you to continue to grow your skills so that you can help improve someone’s quality of life as a biomedical engineer”
When asked about her favourite aspect about the iBioMed program, Matana expressed her appreciation for the problem solving and collaboration skills taught throughout the coursework. “When I was in first year, my team and I decided to change our project idea one week before the final exposition. We all worked really well together, and our collaboration and communication allowed us to adapt our project in an improved direction. We were rewarded as one of the best designs!”
Matana shares that collaboration, communication, and great problemsolving skills that are taught in the iBioMed courses ultimately brought her team to great success. Reflecting upon her time at Epineuron, Matana was responsible for the electrical testing and designing of various projects and collaborated with a diverse team of engineers. She especially found the biomedical nature of her work to be very rewarding. “Seeing your work
directly make an impact is very inspiring. It encourages you to continue to grow your skills so that you can help improve someone’s quality of life as a biomedical engineer.”
“Don’t be afraid to try new things, even if it means you may fail – you can only move forward, because you have more skills than you think you do! So, try as much as you can, and don’t worry about failing!”
Matana also believes mentorship is immensely important in engineering. “There is so much to learn from others”, Matana expresses. “Seeing how other professionals are making a difference through their careers and learning from their experiences, is all very inspiring. It allows me to think, ‘I can do that too!’” International Women’s Day serves as an important opportunity to encourage young women to pursue their dreams, to embrace new challenges, and to continue striving for excellence. Matana advises, “Don’t be afraid to try new things, even if it means you may fail – you can only move forward, because you have more skills than you think you do! So, try as much as you can, and don’t worry about failing!”
Matana enjoys seeing new perspectives and would love to chat more about International Women’s Day, biomedical engineering, and everything in between!
About the Author
Mariam Dawood is a fourth year iBioMed student specializing in Electrical and Biomedical Engineering. She is the lead of the iBioMed Content Creation Committee and has served as an iBioMed Ambassador for four years.