I would like to contribute to the development of biomedical applications for the healthcare industry, to enhance current treatments or to develop new applications.

Mylene Frankfort, student

Student Biomedical Engineering with the specialization Soft Tissue Biomechanics and Engineering.

Mylene Frankfort

Master: Biomedical Engineering
Specialization: Soft Tissue Biomechanics & Engineering
Previous education: Medical Sciences and Engineering at the TU/e
Started with the Master in September 2015

Why did you choose this Master?

I am currently following the Master Biomedical Engineering, because it offers courses in the field related to the content of my Bachelor’s degree Medical Sciences and Engineering. I am interested in two research groups, namely Soft Tissue Biomechanics & Engineering (STBE) as well as Orthopaedic Biomechanics (OPB). In collaboration with the OPB group, I had the opportunity to perform my final Bachelor’s End Project abroad (ETH Zürich, Switzerland), which was an excellent experience.

It was recommended to choose theresearch profile instead of the free profile of BME as research in the lab takes a lot of time and with this profile you have more time to work towards your goal during the graduation project.

I have not decided yet in which direction I want to specialize, therefore I want to start with some broader subjects with STBE than the rather specific subjects of the OPB group. Because the research groups at TU/e collaborate, I am still able to change preferences along the way. My graduation professor is prof. dr. Carlijn Bouten from the research group STBE.

During my Bachelor I was interested in biology in combination with mechanics and engineering. Subjects like tissue engineering and regeneration cover biological cases in which engineering is applied to cure diseases or improve treatment; biomaterials are of great importance in these applications. I am interested in the opportunities to use biomaterials for medical applications. I gained experiences in the laboratory with the quantification of gene expression in cells, which is more fundamental research, and I used this technique at ETH Zürich as well.

Which courses and projects did you choose?

I have chosen courses from both STBE and OPB like Bone Cell and Tissue Mechanics, Stem Cells and Biomaterials. I participated in the project about ‘cell biological techniques and engineering detection’ in the Laboratory for Cell & Tissue Engineering, where I learned about the tools to genetically modify organisms. I am currently looking for an internship abroad. I already went to Switzerland, so now I am focusing on a destination outside of Europe, especially North America and Australia.

What do you like about Biomedical Engineering?

I definitely like the opportunity to go abroad in the Master. I think international experiences are really valuable for the development of all kind of skills. I think it is great to have the opportunity to broaden your horizon and see how research at other universities is carried out. Another aspect I like about the Master is the opportunity to design your own program, which enables you to take the courses you want to focus on. Furthermore, I like the combination of the courses and practical work in the laboratory.

What will be your graduation project?

I would like to combine my internship with my graduation project. Then I can prepare my internship at the TU/e and use the knowledge from my time abroad to continue my graduation project. Most likely, this will be in soft tissue biomechanics, because I want to focus on biomaterials with the application in tissues. I want to study the mechanics which are related to the behavior of cells in tissue. This research is also carried out in the OPB group, so it depends on the type of tissue in which group I will do my project. 

Would you like to continue your research career with a PhD or PDEng?

At the moment, I am not sure whether I want to continue with a PhD. I first want to find a topic I am really engaged in, before I dive into one subject for another four years. However, I do not want to stop studying after I have obtained my Master’s degree. I would like to investigate the opportunities to apply for a traineeship, where you can gain work experience next to being enrolled in an educational program.

Where would you like to work in the future?

I am aware of the fact that I am enrolled in a research Master, where I am being prepared to carry on research in the future. I would like to contribute to the research and development of biomedical applications for the healthcare industry, to enhance current treatments or to develop new applications.

Furthermore, the information evening of alumni association Willem Einthoven provided insight in different fields of expertise where biomedical engineers found a job. 

What did you do next to your study?

I was a Bachelor’s year representative during my second year. Following, I was asked to join the Program Committee. We evaluate and discuss which courses and other educational matters could be improved in monthly meetings with the educational board of the department. I am happy to be part of the team as I think that the evaluations are necessary to improve the new educational system at TU/e. I am also active in the students’ presentation team with whom I present our Bachelor programs during information days at the TU/e. Besides that, I became tutor for first year students to help them start up their studies.

Furthermore, I was active in the Career Orientation Committee of study association Protagoras. The aim is to broaden the interest in graduates from Biomedical Engineering on the labor market. They are organizing for example a career event where they invite recruiters from companies for tour of the department and give them the opportunity to present their company. In this way both recruiters and students benefit from the visit.

In addition, I just became student assistant of the SkillsLab team. SkillsLab is a new platform where students have the possibility to improve their professional skills. I am currently guild leader for academic writing skills, where I am responsible for keeping the tools on the website up-to-date. I am really enthusiastic to work in this team because it enables me to really make a change as this forum is brand new, so suggestions for improvement are appreciated.

In my spare time I like to do sports at the Student Sports Centre Eindhoven where I joined committees from the gymnastics board E.S.T. Suca as well.


January 2016