There my professional dreams of technically-inspired medical

There is a well-known metaphor that the eyes are the windows to the soul. As one of our five senses, vision
is foundational in our lives, affecting everything from our psychology to our physiology. But like every
other organ in our body, our eyes deteriorate over time. In particular, the cornea suffers from diseases
more frequently with age, limiting vision as we get older. However, thanks to the invention of laser eye
surgery (LASIK), many of the common diseases affecting the cornea can be corrected relatively easily. This
electrical surgical tool restores deteriorated vision by reshaping the cornea with a focused laser beam.
This technique is minimally invasive and provides a long-term solution to nearsightedness, farsightedness,
and astigmatism. LASIK thus gives us the power to “illuminate” the soul by shining its windows. This is
one example in many that immensely fascinates me of the integration of electrical devices onto medical
tools for disease treatment, diagnosis, and prevention. I aspire to employ my training in electrical
engineering to invent novel medical devices that can improve the quality our lives. This is why I am
inspired to pursue a doctorate degree in Electrical Engineering to sharpen my skills and learn new
knowledge that can catapult me towards my professional dreams of technically-inspired medical
innovation. Thus, I hope to earn the privilege to pursue my doctoral studies in the forefront research
environment at Yale University.
During my undergraduate career at Penn State Harrisburg, I developed my initial interest in medical
devices while working on my senior thesis. In this work, I led a team of three students to propose a new
way of facilitating effective communication for people who are both blind and deaf by translating speech
into Braille using a refreshable electromechanical board. To achieve this goal, we used
Android/iOS/Windows voice recognition to translate speech into written text. Next, we employed Arduino
development boards and Bluetooth technology as a platform to receive the translated text that can then
be transformed into Braille using a mechanical board. Here, I used my coding skills to write C/C++ scripts
to control and electrically actuate individual mechanical pins to write Braille characters. All of these efforts
converged to a functional proof-of-concept demonstration of a communication system for blind and deaf
people that was presented as my senior thesis. I am especially proud of this accomplishment because it
was my original idea that led to a functional prototype. It was one of the first times that I felt very
passionate about an engineering project. This project taught me that I could be an engine of change for the
better using my engineering skills, marking the beginning of my passion in finding medical solutions using
electrical engineering.
Following my professional aspirations, I joined Pratt & Whitney right after graduation as a control and
systems engineer to work on jet propulsion systems. Aviation services have become critical in our society
as more and more people use air travel to navigate the world. Thus, I was proudly able to apply my
knowledge of control theories, my experience with state machines, and my understanding of FORTRAN
programming in crafting and designing software for the Electronic Engine Controller (EEC), which safely
carries millions of passengers around the world every day. Working in a fast-paced collaborative and  learning environment, my daily activities included, for example, interacting with customers as well as
cross-functional teams to study and integrate our specialized knowledge in well-developed engine control
requirements and flow schematics. Through this work, my team and I hoped to continually improve the
safety of air travel for millions of people. Additionally, I also took on new challenges as an aero/thermo
engineer. In this position, I focused on understanding the performance and operability of an engine by
mathematically and aerodynamically analyzing gas generator parameters such as rotational speed,
pressure, temperature, airflow, etc. Applying this knowledge allowed me to effectively identify root causes
of field events and to accurately conduct safety investigations.
After three years at Pratt and Whitney, I decided to return to school in a master’s program to hone my
engineering skills in the medical industry. Here, I began collaborating with my professor, Dr. Gray, and a
physician, Dr. Hazard, at Penn State Hershey Medical Center to find a solution to the national health
emergency of opioid addiction. Opioid-involved deaths can be easily avoided if an injection of Narcan can
be delivered on time to a person suffering from an opioid overdose. However, these victims of opioid
overdose often do not find the necessary help in time, and thus risk unnecessarily losing their lives.
Therefore, our goal is to develop a real-time monitoring system that detects episodes of opioid overdose
so that Narcan can be delivered autonomously on time. This eliminates the need for hospital visits or
paramedic attendance during an opioid-related emergency. Specifically, the device is designed as a
wearable technology that performs constant non-invasive physiological and pathophysiological tests to
detect when a person becomes apneic, which is the primary overdose reaction when opioid receptors in
the respiratory centers become saturated. Upon detection, an autoinjector embedded within the system is
activated to inject a small dosage of Narcan to immediately stop the receptor saturation. Not only that, a
network of devices that are capable of alerting local emergency correspondents as well as family members
shall also be triggered to ensure that the overdosing person is getting the necessary attention in a timely
manner. The innovation in our approach comes from using multiple sensor inputs for the Fuzzy logic to
diagnose true positive opioid overdoses with high reliability. In this project, while Dr. Hazard lends his
experience in effective methods to detect apnea and Dr. Gray guides me through the process of writing a
thesis, I am responsible for identifying and integrating wearable microcontrollers, sensors, batteries, and
autoinjectors into a deliverable product that can be tested for opioid control. Beyond that, with Dr. Gray’s
help, I also take charge in developing respiratory simulations, analyzing oxygen saturation data, and more.
This is an ongoing project, the prospects of which are extremely exciting to me!
In addition to working at Penn State Hershey Medical Center, I also joined inTRAvent Medical Partners LP
as an electrical and firmware engineer in hope of building more knowledge and expanding my skillset. In
this position, I successfully led the development of a positional tracking device with critical tolerances that
is essential for accurately targeting the ventricle with a drain in a external ventricular drain (EVD)
procedure. Specifically, I applied my technical knowledge in areas like encoder analysis and integration
for tolerance constraints, software loop control for tight timing on data output, bit-bang squarewave
simulation to verify encoders’ central processing unit, and also error handling algorithm to bolster the
safety of the system during use.
Recently, while studying the feasibility of using pulse oximetry as a sensor input for my master’s thesis, I
saw opportunities to improve the current technology as well as proposing new detectable signatures using
the same methodology. The understanding of general Beer-Lambert law and material absorptivity of light
allows me to potentially figure out a way to detect carbon dioxide in blood (bicarbonate) non-invasively,
something which would be an accurate indicator for respiratory depression in opioid overdose. Currently,
I am working to further understand the modification of the Beer-Lambert law to accommodate for diastolic
and systolic cardio-activities as well as non-linearity associated with current laser, photodetector
technologies, and light scattering in tissues. In recent development, I was able to model a pulsating blood
medium with various hemoglobin species in MATLAB to simulate the propagation of light through a finger.