#EngineeringAtNUVA is a series that highlights talented engineers who make up NuVasive Engineering. Every feature will have a unique set of questions to give you the most diverse knowledge into Engineering at NUVA including roles within Manufacturing, Development, Software, and Electrical Engineering. The series is for students interested in the field, for prospective engineers who want to understand our culture, and for those intrigued to meet some of our incredibly intelligent Shareowners!
Our next feature for #EngineeringatNUVA is Sam, Manufacturing Engineer in the Manufacturing Department in Ohio.
Why did you choose to work in Medical Device for Engineering versus other industries?
I chose our industry because I wanted to see the direct, positive impact that my work could have on other people.
It’s inspiring to me to touch our implants every day and think that they’ll eventually end up in someone’s body—helping heal them and improving their quality of life.
How long have you been at NUVA?
I’ve been working at NuVasive for nine months as a manufacturing engineer in West Carrollton, Ohio. Our facility produces the majority of NuVasive’s implantable products.
Is there a specific class or skill that you wish you took/learned prior to graduating college that would positively impact your work now?
I wish I could’ve taken a Lean/Six Sigma class because of the problem-solving skills it would have taught me. I might still go back to school for one though!
Can you describe your path from realizing you wanted to be an engineer to present day (classes in school, internships, anything that exposed you to engineering)?
My high school robotics club was pretty important in developing the problem-solving and technical skills that I use now in my engineering job today. I also worked part-time as a machinist through high school and college and that has helped me tremendously here in my manufacturing engineering role. I went to college for mechanical engineering and again for a Master’s in Biomedical Engineering. Shortly after graduating, I started working at NuVasive.
What types of inspiration led you to the Engineering field?
I had a mentor in high school who helped fit amputees with their new prosthetic limbs. By shadowing her, I saw the impact that these devices had on her patients’ quality of life. Some patients had a lot of trouble with their passive prostheses while another patient could walk a dozen miles every day as a mail carrier, all on a motorized ankle prosthesis. That was when I decided I wanted to engineer medical devices and help more people.
For those deciding on which type of engineering path to embark on, what would be your best advice (ex: mechanical vs. bio vs. software)?
Just try it! If you’re in college, take a class in that subject area to see what it’s like, even if it doesn’t count towards your graduation requirements.
Taking a class doesn’t commit you to a career in that area. College is your time to discover yourself and become a well-rounded person, so take advantage of it by exposing yourself to as much diversity as you can.
You can also experiment with different internships, research positions, or club opportunities. As an intern, you’re not expected to know everything, so it’s a great time to test-drive a career field without committing to it.
What makes Engineering unique at NuVasive in your opinion?
NuVasive is a fast-growing company that’s fueled by our incredible employees. If someone shows ambition or a great idea here, then they’re given the support to run with it.
Interested in the engineering field at NuVasive? Learn about open roles and what it takes to be an engineer with NUVA by clicking here.