8 questions with biomedical engineer Heather Sheardown

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March is National Engineering Month, and to celebrate the occasion the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council’s Chair for Women in Science and Engineering is profiling 30 of the country’s top female engineers.

McMaster biomedical engineer Heather Sheardown, who studies engineered treatments for eye diseases, was highlighted March 4.

In her Q and A, Sheardown talks about why she became an engineer, how her degree has helped her be successful and what she see for women engineers over the next 25 years.

What is your current job?

I am a Chemical Engineering Professor. This involves teaching students and doing research in an area that is interesting to me. I focus (no pun intended!) on engineered treatments for eye diseases.

What is your favourite part of your job?

My favourite part of what I do is working with students. I have a group of 10-12 undergraduate students, graduate students and post doctoral fellows who work on research projects. I love brainstorming with them and coming up with new ideas – some work and some do not, it but is always fun to see how things progress.

How has your degree in engineering helped your career?  

I was always interested in medicine but realized in graduate school that I like the hands on thinking that comes with research. My engineering degree trained me to think through problems critically and to consider options and troubleshoot. I am always thinking about how something can be implemented rather than just making the next new widget.

Read the full Q and A here.

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