Difference Makers, June 2014

Infiniti Motor Company Ltd. has announced the 12 finalists for the Infiniti Performance Engineering Academy, which will “discover the world’s next Formula One engineering stars.” Austin R. Volk, OR A 2014, is among the finalists competing to win “a 12-month engineering role with Infinit Red Bull Racing, with accommodation in the UK, Infiniti company car and full salary.” Three winners will be chosen on July 3rd from what a pool that began with more than 1,500 international engineering students from 100 universities.

Volk graduated from Oregon State University with an honors bachelor of science degree in mechanical engineering and with a minor in business and entrepreneurship. He has worked experience in the field of engineering through participation in the MECOP program through Oregon State and participation in two six-month internships at Consolidated Metco and Daimler Trucks North America. Read the press release for the list of finalists and more information on the final interviews.


Medical Xpress recently published an article on the research of Kevin A. Janes, Ph.D. (MD A ’99), a biomedical engineer, a computational modeler, and an assistant professor at the University of Virginia. In his recent work he “has demonstrated that some cells found in breast cancer are not always malignant, but are affected by their relationship to the extracellular matrix that surrounds them. “If you’re uniformly aggressive, that mob of cancer cells could fragment and become even more dangerous,” Dr. Janes said. “A more productive therapeutic approach might be to consider the tumor ecology.”

Next up, Dr. Janes will “test his findings about breast cancer cells in a therapeutic context and hopefully “migrate his studies directly to clinical specimens of breast tumors.”


A group of biomedical engineering students from Johns Hopkins University (JHU) unveiled their new “lightweight, easy-to-conceal shirtlike garment to deliver lifesaving shocks to patients experiencing serious heart problems” as part of the undergraduate design team program at JHU. The design improves upon current wearable defibrillator systems. Click here to read more about the award-winning prototype that has already been approved for a provisional patent.

The team leader was Sandya Subramanian, MD A 2015, who is also the Tau Beta Pi Maryland Alpha Chapter president. “We set out to address these issues and design a device that heart patients would be more likely to wear for longer periods of time—because their lives may depend on it,” said Subramanian. The eight-student team also includes Melinda Chen (MD A 2014); Powei “Billy” Kang (MD A 2014); and Chun Ming “Ernest” So (MD A 2014).



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