Medical technology professionals improve lives around the globe
Curing serious illness and helping patient comfort and recovery are key values in this industry
An aging population and steady technical progress are spurring growth
By Laurel A. McKee Ranger
Senior Contributing Editor
Medical technology continues to advance the care and treatment of patients with a multitude of illnesses. Today, many conditions that once required open surgery with long recovery times can now be remedied using minimally invasive techniques. Advances in molecular technology allow identification of biomarkers for more targeted treatment of disease and more accurate assessment of risk. Infusion pumps deliver precise amounts of medication to patients and are integrated into hospital information technology systems.
Ongoing questions about the future structure of the nation's healthcare system are contributing to some caution in hiring. But medical technology is still big business, says Stock Blog Hub.com. Annual sales in the global medical device industry are estimated at more than $300 billion, with U.S. sales of roughly $95 billion. Growth is expected to continue, in part because of the aging Baby Boomer population. The population of people over 65 was 40 million in 2010, and is expected to reach 72 million by 2030, a jump sure to drive growth in the industry.
Lisa Cratty helps perfect specimen tools at BD
Lisa Cratty gets great satisfaction from her job. "In the medical device industry we have a passion for improving lives. At BD, we know we touch a patient's life every seventy seconds. The patients depend on us. When you can make someone's life better, it's an unbelievable feeling. There is a high level of caring here for employees and patients alike," she says.
BD (Franklin Lakes, NJ) manufactures and sells medical devices, instrument systems and reagents. As director of device research and development for the BD diagnostics division in the preanalytical systems unit, Cratty works with containment and acquisition products.
"We develop specimen containment and acquisition products for blood, tissue and urine. In specimen acquisition, a big focus is on patient comfort. We want to motivate adults to get blood work done, and reduce the trauma for neonates. On the containment side, it's essential to preserve the sample en route to the lab. Careful preservation enables timely results and accurate diagnosis," Cratty says.
She works on projects in all phases of the development cycle, from concept to near launch. Keeping projects on the path to launch involves a lot of interaction with her team. "I also interface with marketing to see what their needs are. Besides the projects, we're involved with exploration of new technologies, technology development and product benchmarking," she says.
Cratty grew up in Brighton, MI and earned a BA in economics and management from Albion College (Albion, MI) in 1992. Her first job was in the purchasing group of an automotive parts manufacturer, and after less than a year of that she decided to go back to school for engineering. She interned for two summers at Ford Motor Company (Dearborn, MI) while working toward her BSME, which she earned in 1995 from Michigan State University (East Lansing). After graduating she took a job with Ford, where she completed a rotation program, then became a body engineer and ultimately a project engineer, on the Explorer and the Mustang.
"It was a great place to work. But in 2003, I decided I wanted more technical depth and a focus on global product development, so I took a position with the Asian OEM division of an automotive interior supplier, Lear Corporation in Southfield, MI."
Moving into management
During her time at Ford she earned an MS in system design and management from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (Cambridge, MA), so she began at Lear as a principal engineer. Then she became an engineering supervisor. "That was my first role in management. I had a team of six," she says.
In 2007, Cratty started with Evenflo Company (Miamisburg, OH) as director of engineering for playtime and feeding products. Unwittingly, she became involved with medical devices when Evenflo acquired a breast pump company, and she got her first taste of the highly regulated industry.
"Here, the consumers rely on us, on the manufacturer, to do it right. I take pride in that. Consumers have a choice of products and you want them to select yours because it is going to improve their life," she says.
At the height of the economic downturn, Cratty's position at Evenflo was eliminated. But her work experience made her highly marketable. "It made me well suited for this position, and the transition was relatively easy," she says. Cratty came to BD in 2010.
Cratty's group of fifteen is responsible for designing, developing and validating new products and for a limited time, post-launch problems. Cratty ensures the technical excellence of her team and adherence to design control. She also oversees the development of technical acumen among her staff, and makes certain that members of her team are moving up the ladder.
The medical device industry is not without its challenges. "I always want things to be black and white, but medical devices are highly dependent on human physiology, so it's a challenge. There are a lot of variables and a lot of stakeholders, including the government, patients, healthcare workers, labs, and purchasing managers. We have to deliver a device that satisfies all of them," she says.
Cratty has belonged to the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME) and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE), and is a current member of the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). She tries to keep up with her local SWE chapter and gives presentations and mentors young women interested in technical careers. Her biggest hobby at this point is home improvement. "It's a nice artistic outlet, and I enjoy using my engineering skills," she says.
BD develops diverse leaders
"BD is building a pipeline of future leaders," says David Orr, worldwide talent acquisition and management leader. "Diversity assists in establishing a framework for that. It is best achieved when it is integrated into our daily business efforts."
He notes that BD attends events sponsored by the National Black MBA Association and the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE), and is looking into developing a relationship with SWE.
BD has career acceleration and global mentoring programs. "We also offer tuition assistance and BD University, which runs leadership courses and management development courses, with both online and classroom courses. We just launched Harvard Manage Mentor, which is backed by the Harvard Business Review," Orr says.
Despite the slow economic recovery, BD continues to hire tech pros from MEs and EEs to chemical and computer engineers, for jobs in engineering, R&D and management. "We look at the degree, but we also look at the type of experience they have had. Those things are critical," Orr says.
Integra's Shahidul Anam engineers collagen materials for recovery
Products created at Integra LifeSciences (Plainsboro, NJ) are an important part of many patients' recovery. Integra creates devices and implants for spine, foot and ankle, hand and wrist, shoulder and elbow, tendon and peripheral nerve protection and repair, and wound repair, along with a portfolio of neurological implants, devices, instruments and systems. It also provides surgical instruments to hospitals, surgery centers, physician and dental offices.
Shahidul Anam works as a senior engineer of product and process in the field of bio-absorbable collagen-based devices for orthopedic, neurological, and reconstructive surgery and wound care for burn victims. "Our collagen-based devices include artificial skin for surgical and trauma wounds, dural graft for cranial and spinal procedures, and collagen tubes that promote extension of axons and growth of Schwann cells for nerve repair. We also manufacture osteoconductive scaffold which mimics the composition and pore structure of natural human bone. It serves as a scaffold to regrow bone," Anam explains.
Anam works on new products and supports enhancements of products in the field.
"I take the technology that R&D develops and work with them to develop processes that are robust for manufacturing. I oversee the transfer of products and processes from R&D to manufacturing, and revisit older products and processes to see if they can be improved," he says.
Anam's group also oversees the transfer and implementation of OEM products to manufacturing. Anam leads a team of three engineers: a junior engineer, a rotational engineer, and a temporary employee.
Working in a highly regulated environment is his biggest challenge, says Anam. "What we are making is implanted in the body and the onus is on us to ensure the safety and efficacy of our products. I see it as a moral responsibility."
Anam has a 2004 BS in bioengineering from Syracuse University (Syracuse, NY) with expertise in biomaterials science. After graduating and before Integra, he took a position with Stryker Orthopedics. "It was my first job. I was doing product development for bone cement, which was the subject of my undergraduate research at Syracuse," Anam says.
Adapting to a new world
Anam was born in Bangladesh, and spent his early years in Gazipur, near Dhaka, the capital. He came with his family to the U.S. at age twelve and grew up in Queens, New York. The biggest hurdles he faced were the language and the culture.
Although he was able to do a lot of volunteering during high school and university, today Anam finds himself spending his free time with his family and his wife's family. He enjoys playing softball, soccer and flag football on the Integra teams. "We get together with friends and co-workers and play sports or do outdoor activities on the weekends."
Integra's Aaron Fore works in supply chain
As supply chain manager at Integra, Aaron Fore ensures that the company's products are available throughout the global market. It's part of his job to recognize which products are subject to demand spikes. "For example, artificial skin is a trauma product, and you have a certain steady demand. But catastrophic events can cause spikes. We have to have the flexibility to scale up."
Fore heads up a planning group of six, all direct reports. He performs analyses of product availability and manufacturing capacities and capabilities. But supply chain management comes with special challenges in a regulated environment.
"We are a global company, but certain products can be sold only in certain markets. You want to optimize manufacturing capacity. You want to balance supply and demand, and you need country-specific details, like where different countries stand on approval from various regulatory agencies," says Fore.
Fore supports two divisions, and works with marketing groups to understand business needs and forecasted sales so the company can determine what they need to make or buy. "I'm responsible for a large chunk of inventory. This is an industry where we have to have a lot of product on the shelf, and it has to be accessible at all times. The checks and balances are extensive," he says.
Skills rooted in the military
Fore graduated from the United States Military Academy (West Point, NY) in 1987 with a BS in operations research and a concentration in civil engineering, and received an MBA from Xavier University (Cincinnati, OH) in 2002. He also has supply chain certification. Following graduation from West Point, Fore spent four years in the army as a field artillery officer and served in the first Gulf War.
"That was an experience. From a leadership aspect I learned how to get the best out of people. In my last year I was also responsible for logistics, ensuring that we had enough supplies for the forward troops."
After leaving the military, Fore spent the next nineteen years at various Johnson & Johnson (New Brunswick, NJ) companies. He worked in medical devices for twelve years before switching to pharmaceuticals. He began as a manufacturing manager, then worked on contract negotiations, and finally in supply chain. Fore started at Integra in 2010.
Chances and challenges
Fore, who grew up in Deerfield Beach, FL, clearly loves his job. He is a numbers person and has always enjoyed analysis and figuring out how to maximize resources. He was drawn to Integra because it allowed him to lead and be in the medical industry where he can make a difference.
"It's a mid-size company with high aspirations. To be a part of that growth and the challenges that come with that is really exciting. There are fewer layers; the decision-making is pretty quick. I often get to sit in meetings with the CEO. Integra has excellent opportunities," Fore says.
Fore has faced past challenges as an African American, "but it's not something I consciously focus on. Here my technical expertise is what is important. I am recognized for that and what I bring to the table," he says.
Fore received a Bronze Star for Leadership in Combat in 1991. In his spare time he works in Trenton soup kitchens and runs a mentoring and tutoring program at Antioch Church in Trenton. Although he grew up in Florida, Fore was born in Trenton and much of his family is still there. He also enjoys biking and is currently training for a cycling "century," a 100-mile bike ride.
Yezihalem Mesfin integrates new technology at Starkey Hearing Technologies
Anyone who has ever worn a hearing aid knows that it's an imperfect tool. But hearing aid manufacturer Starkey Hearing Technologies (Eden Prairie, MN) is working to improve on that technology.
Yezihalem Mesfin is a leader in the company's mission. As a senior acoustic engineer in the electro-acoustic engineering science research group, Mesfin knows what he's facing.
"There are a lot of challenges with hearing aids. Power consumption is an issue. As you make a sound louder, the hearing aid consumes more power," Mesfin says. He adds that improving batteries is a related challenge, as is directionality. "Hearing aids don't give you directionality. There is a lot of research going into that at the moment.
"We investigate new technologies to integrate into hearing aids. I do electric acoustic testing and create hearing aid prototypes," says Mesfin.
With severe hearing loss, there is a need for greater amplification and consequently, a greater risk of feedback. The company attempts to design hearing systems with minimal feedback and maximum gain, while also trying to make the aids as small as possible. "We're always trying to improve electrical and acoustical performance," Mesfin says.
The company is also looking to improve the music experience for those with hearing disabilities. Current hearing aids are targeted at speech rather than music, and there are differences in the signal processing and electro-acoustics between the two.
Success from sacrifice and hard work
Mesfin is Amhara and grew up in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. He earned an associates degree in aviation electronics from the Aviation Maintenance Technicians' School (Addis Ababa) in 1990. After working for Ethiopian Airlines as a lead test equipment technician, and then as a supervisor of engine test cells, Mesfin came to this country in 2001 to escape political unrest. He started working for Honeywell International (Morristown, NJ) in Maple Grove, MN as an engineering technician. Meanwhile, he enrolled at the University of Minnesota (Minneapolis, MN).
In 2007, he came to Starkey Hearing Technologies as a senior test engineer. In 2009 he received his BSEE, and in 2011 he was promoted into his current position.
He is currently working on a PhD in biomedical engineering at the University of Minnesota, but plans to continue working in industry rather than going into academia. "My PhD program is applicable to what I do here. It will be helpful for the company," Mesfin says.
Mesfin's leap into medical technology is no coincidence. He was always interested in biomedical engineering, but training was not available in Ethiopia. While at Honeywell and attending the University of Minnesota, he met another student working for Starkey. "They hired me based on his recommendation. At that point, I got interested in acoustics and took some courses through the company," he says.
One of the biggest challenges Mesfin has faced is studying while working and raising a family. He and his wife have two children, ages six and twelve. For years he did not have time for a vacation, and he has not returned to Ethiopia since he left in 2001. His mother still lives there, and he has a large extended family. "You can't just go over and visit a few people. There would be many in my family who would get offended if I didn't visit them as well. Most Ethiopians who go back need a month to visit!" Mesfin says.
It has also been a challenge at times being an African from a third-world country. "I've had to go the extra mile. I had to prove that what I had on my resume was true. But I overcame those challenges as well," he says.
Oddly enough, it was avionics that originally brought Mesfin to Minnesota. He was assigned to test Boeing engines in Ethiopia and was brought to Minnesota for training in 1995. When he got back home he was promoted to supervisor, and ended up coming to Minnesota every year. He made many friends in the area, so when he came to the U.S. for good, Minnesota was a natural choice.
Mesfin was nominated for engineer of the year at Starkey in 2009. In his spare time he teaches Amharic to children, is president and co-founder of the Ethiopian Heritage Society of Minnesota, and plays the kirar, a traditional Ethiopian stringed instrument.
Diversity and hiring are active pursuits at Starkey Hearing Technologies
"Diversity is a key part of Starkey Hearing Technologies' corporate culture and policy," says Larry Miller, senior vice president of human resources. In order to achieve its diversity goals, the company maintains an active affirmative action program that pinpoints where its efforts should be focused.
Starkey Hearing Technologies offers tuition reimbursement for employees seeking to enhance their skill- sets to meet the company's needs and objectives.
The company has ongoing openings for technical professionals. "In the last two years, sixty percent of all DSP openings in the Minneapolis marketplace and forty percent of the openings statewide were for jobs at Starkey," says Miller.
The company seeks engineers and IT professionals including .Net developers, software engineers, software testers, R&D engineers, DSP engineers, wireless firmware engineers, and Oracle business analysts.
Hospira's Beata Maria Oleksiewicz values challenges, hard work and democracy
Hospira Inc (Lake Forest, IL) manufactures and supplies hospital products, including specialty injectables, medication management systems, and infusion therapy solutions and supplies, and does third-party contract manufacturing.
Beata Maria Oleksiewicz is a senior systems engineer and systems engineering lead for the infusion pumps product family. She provides support for both on-market devices and product development. She is also the R&D technical lead for product update projects, where she integrates and coordinates multifunctional team activities, and provides systems engineering input during product remediation efforts.
"With the advances being made in the area of communications in medical devices, systems engineering has become very important," Oleksiewicz says. "We are the product integrators and look at things more holistically. We ensure that the interfaces work properly and seamlessly."
Her main role is to ensure that improvements to her family of pumps are implemented properly, that necessary processes are followed and that everything is carefully documented. She has two direct reports, but as the R&D lead, she coordinates a team of about ten engineers and medical and clinical support personnel.
Embracing her freedoms through travel
Oleksiewicz was born and grew up in Warsaw, Poland. She did her undergraduate studies at the Technical University of Warsaw in 1980 and then came to the U.S. For Oleksiewicz, the U.S. was a symbol of democracy and freedom. At that time Poland was still under Communist rule and it was not possible to travel around freely. For Oleksiewicz, one of the most tangible effects of democracy was her ability to travel around the country.
"I still love to travel and we backpack as a family in foreign countries to get a more genuine experience of the culture. I went to Nepal with my husband and two daughters and also took a trip to Africa."
Oleksiewicz received an MSME with a major in heat transfer in 1985 from Illinois Institute of Technology (Chicago, IL), but had to work her way through school as a waitress. She had some early struggles with English, but engineering was a natural fit for her, as her mother was a biochemist and her father a civil engineer. She started her engineering career as a project engineer for Tempel Steel Company (Chicago, IL) in 1984, then went on in 1988 to Dukane Corporation (St. Charles, IL), as a senior mechanical engineer in the microrobotics department.
Gaining vital medical tech experience
In 1994, she was hired as a senior mechanical and fluids engineer by Fluid Management (Wheeling, IL). There she was the project leader of a $1.5 million automated precision fluid dispensing system. "That's where I acquired my expertise in fluid dispensing in a regulated environment," she says. Then Baxter Healthcare International (Deerfield, IL) hired her in 1997 as a manager of engineering. She worked there until coming to Hospira in 2011.
Oleksiewicz admits that she loves a challenge and has always found herself drawn to complex areas of engineering. Her biggest challenge right now is leading her current software project. It must be done quickly, have a robust documentation and meet all regulatory requirements. "It's a dynamic situation and you have to be sure you integrate everything seamlessly at the systems level. When issues come up you have to involve the right people and act quickly," she says.
Oleksiewicz feels very lucky to be able to work as a systems engineer in this industry. "You get to make a difference in the whole product, from concept to manufacturing. Knowing that the outcome affects patients, I don't mind working hard." She is a co-author on two U.S. patents.
Her competitive spirit is evident in play as well as work. She enjoys running and has completed both a marathon and a triathlon. She played competitive tennis in Poland, and still gets in a few games each week. She hopes to travel to Cambodia next year.
Software engineer Reshmi S. Nair: a supportive environment at Hospira
Reshmi S. Nair is a principal software engineer and communication engine lead for the infusion pump products for Hospira in their San Diego, CA facility.
"The communication engine is an integral part of all the infusion pumps. It communicates with the Hospira MedNet server," Nair explains.
Nair leads multiple teams for both on-market and new products, with sixteen employees and contractors. She leads the entire software team for on-market communication engines, but her role there is purely managerial. While in the new product area, she is involved in design discussions and review of technical details. In a typical day, she might be deep in discussions over a new product line, in back-to-back meetings, brainstorming, and helping to resolve issues for clients.
Nair has a 2001 bachelors degree in engineering from Ramrao Adik Institute of Technology (Mumbai, India), and a 2004 MS in computer engineering from Santa Clara University (Santa Clara, CA).
"I came to this country in 2002 to get my masters, then did an internship at IBM in San Jose as a software engineering intern working on storage server solutions," Nair says.
Over the course of her career, Nair has gained considerable expertise in the field of communications software. After getting her masters, she worked as a software engineer for Veraz Networks (San Jose, CA), then for Nextwave Broadband (San Diego, CA) where she was a software engineer on WiMax chipsets, which provide integrated solutions to support mobile devices. From 2008 to 2011, Nair was a senior software engineer at Qualcomm (San Diego, CA) where she designed and developed features for a WiFi driver. In 2011, Nair applied for her current job.
"I wanted to try another industry, but my coming here was something of a coincidence. This is a highly regulated environment, very different from telecom. But the more I'm a part of the organization and learn about what it does, the more involved I get. Quality matters so much here. When you see why we do it, how it helps others, it makes the extra work involved with the regulations much easier to do," Nair says.
Being a woman in a demanding technical job can be challenging. Nair has a three-year old and is pregnant with her second child. But she says that Hospira is a wonderful place to work. "It's very supportive here. I'm really fortunate right now."
As a child growing up in Mumbai, Nair believed that medicine was "a noble profession," but didn't think she had the temperament to be a doctor. Now she is a little closer to that earlier dream. "It's rewarding being part of the medical industry. I feel good about our helping people every day."
In her spare time, Nair performs Indian classical dance.
Trevell Terry: design supervisor at Medtronic
Trevell A. Terry knows he's in the right place at Medtronic. "We're helping extend someone's life or making it better. It's very fulfilling. I knew I would love to work in an industry like this when I came for my first interview."
Medtronic (Minneapolis, MN) is a medical device company that designs and manufactures products for cardiac rhythm, cardiovascular, spinal, and neurologic medicine, surgical technology and diabetes management.
Terry has been with Medtronic fifteen years. He's currently a design supervisor and senior technical supervisor in the spinal business unit in Memphis, TN. His unit designs and manufactures screws, plates, rods, and cervical disks, as well as fusion spacers, cages and more.
"As a design supervisor in engineering I work with all of those products. We support product development," he says. Terry supervises three drafters and three designers. His group completes engineering change orders for existing products and new development.
He was originally hired as a drafter. He has worked his way up, transferring to the international group, moving up to packaging development engineer, then moving into custom and special orders for hospitals and surgeons.
Terry has a 1996 associates degree in applied science from Northwest Mississippi Community College (Senatobia, MS), and a 2008 BS in industrial technology with a concentration in manufacturing from Southern Illinois University-Carbondale (Millington, TN). Before joining Medtronic in 1997, Terry worked as a drafter and CAD operator for Griffin, Inc (Byhalia, MS) designing armored trucks. He has American Design Drafting Association (ADDA) certification. In 2005, he received the company's Boundary Breaker award for his work on sterile packaging.
Terry's journey has not been easy. He and his wife have a son now twelve and a daughter, fourteen. "I stayed up late to do homework. I went to class all day Saturdays and Sundays, and completed my bachelors degree in sixteen months."
In addition to work, Terry enjoys coaching his children's sports teams and visiting family in Michigan City, MS, where he grew up.
Diversity drives innovation at Medtronic
"Inclusion, diversity and employee engagement play vital roles in our organization. We see it as the realization of our mission. Our business leaders leverage the diversity in our organization to drive innovation and improve the lives of others," says Johnel Evans, human resources director and inclusion leader at Medtronic Spinal.
Medtronic recruits at national career fairs held by organizations like SWE and NSBE. It also recruits at colleges and universities with diverse student populations. Other programs include outreach to veterans and the disabled.
Leadership development programs focus on individuals in the organization's talent pipeline. "All programs are aimed at retaining our top talent. Specifically for our technical pipeline talent, we offer a program in core team leadership and project management," Evans says. Medtronic offers tuition reimbursement for employees pursuing advanced degree programs that align with their career development plans.
The company's affinity groups focus on Asians, African Americans, women, employees with disabilities, Christians, members of the LGBT community, and veterans.
The spinal business unit typically hires mechanical, biomechanical and biomedical engineers with experience in medical devices, or in the auto and aerospace industries, who have knowledge of modeling and design software. It also hires people with experience in manufacturing, packaging and program management. IT jobs include systems analysts, administrators, application architects and developers, and program managers.
Erik Greenfield does cutting-edge development at Life Technologies
Erik T. Greenfield laments a lack of African Americans in medical technology. As a result he has recommitted himself to NSBE, and to identifying talented minorities in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). He hopes to mentor candidates who can ultimately boost minority participation at senior levels. The efforts must start at the university level or earlier, he says.
"As an undergrad, I was one of about forty African Americans in engineering, and in grad school I was the only African American in the biomedical engineering program, and one of the few Americans," he says.
Greenfield is a senior program and project leader with Life Technologies Corporation (Carlsbad, CA), a global life sciences company that provides instruments and reagents for DNA and RNA purification, cell culture, cloning, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and real-time PCR, sequencing, fluorescent imaging devices, and more.
Greenfield works in the molecular and cell biology group, where he oversees the design and development of instruments for sample preparation used in analysis, protein synthesis, and profiling. Life Technologies creates both the chemicals and the instrumentation; Greenfield's group supports the instrumentation. He is also working on a sample preparation and electroporation device, which opens cell membranes to introduce an agent, such as a drug or biomarker.
"A lot of my role is to serve as the quarterback. I work with R&D, operations, sales, marketing, and regulatory. I oversee the whole lifecycle of the product, report on roadblocks, and make sure we have enough resources, both in terms of personnel and finances," Greenfield says.
While he manages large project teams, Greenfield has no direct reports. "A lot of my job is influencing others and relationship building. I've worked in most of those areas, so I know the problems involved," he says.
Building a go-getter resume
Greenfield earned his BS in electrical and computer engineering in 1989 from Ohio University (Athens, OH) and his MS in biomedical engineering in 1999 from George Washington University (Washington, DC). He is also Six Sigma Black Belt certified. He holds a professional engineer EIT/FE license, and is National Institute for the Certification of Engineering Technology (NICET) Level II certified.
Over the course of his career, Greenfield has worked in many different areas, including product development, operations and mergers and acquisitions. That gives him an appreciation of how the business works and helps him support a strong engineering function. "Now I'm managing end-to-end development, from concept to post production."
After graduating from Ohio University, Greenfield took a position as a systems design/project management engineer with Simplex Time Recorder Company (Lanham, MD), where he led a team of twelve engineers and CAD operators from 1990 to 1999. Next he moved to Applied Biosystems (Foster City, CA) as a senior product engineer in new product development and introduction. In 2003, he was promoted to senior product engineer/ process excellence manager. In 2005, he became black belt/process improvement manager at Quest Diagnostics (Madison, NJ) in its Houston, TX facility, and then operations manager in the Connecticut facility of PerkinElmer Life & Analytical Sciences (Waltham, MA). He became a manager of business development and integration projects for the company in 2008, a position he held until moving to Life Technologies in 2010.
Sharing his passion with others
Greenfield grew up in Washington, DC. His father was a chemist with the USDA and his mother was the National Educational Association western regional leader. His older brother became an engineer, and Greenfield wanted to be like him. He started in biomedical engineering and ended up getting a BSEE and then an MBA.
When he started his career, life science technology was starting to blossom, and that drew him in. "Applied Biosystems was heavily involved in the human genome race when I started. It was all very cutting edge. It's an exciting field to be in. The advances that have been made over the last eleven years have been huge. Now we're working with instruments that are benchtop size, and one tenth the cost they were when I started. We're leveraging information and heading toward more targeted therapy and treating and curing major diseases without side effects. This industry is still in its infancy," Greenfield says. "I took every course offered. I worked sixty to eighty hour weeks and never blinked; I enjoyed it that much."
Greenfield observes that the overall pursuit of engineering needs a boost. "Young people don't see the value of an engineering career, and without the pipeline of talent, it stifles our economy," he says.
DIVERSITY-MINDED DEFENSE CONTRACTORS
Check website for current listings.
|Company and location
|BD (Franklin Lakes, NJ)
|Medical technology, including devices, lab equipment, and diagnostic tools
|Hospira Inc (Lake Forest, IL)
|Hospital supplies, including specialty injectables,
medication management systems, infusion therapy
|Integra LifeSciences (Plainsboro, NJ)
|Medical devices for neurosurgergy; orthopedic, spine, extremity reconstruction and general surgery
|Life Technologies Corporation (Carlsbad, CA)
|Products and services from instruments to lab essentials for the areas of research, animal and medical science
|Medtronic (Minneapolis, MN)
|Medical devices in the areas of spinal and biologics, cardiovascular, neuromodulation, diabetes, and surgical technologies
|Starkey Hearing Technologies
(Eden Prairie, MN)
|Hearing aids and hearing technology products, including invisible, wireless and digital hearing aids, and personal audio products
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