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Old 03-03-2014, 11:28 PM   #61
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Nice! Did you work at the Sunnyvale facility or Sylmar? I technically work in electrophysiology devices but work across the board to whatever project needs some help. My major role is intercardiac tissue cooling during RF ablation.

If you think transcatheter valve replacement is cool, you should look into electrophysiology where they can effectively rewire the cardiac conduction system through your leg.

Sylmar, it's where most of the stuff goes on. Really nice facility actually, but the area blows lol.

WHAT!! That sounds so insane. Biomedical is such an interesting field because you need full on mechanical engineers and you need biologists to work together. Knowing just one aspect won't get you very far. To be completely honest I was never totally 'stoked' on the type of mechanical engineering work in this field. It's mostly tiny, very expensive, parts that don't really do anything. I'm definitely more into building machines and tooling used to make these parts. It's all part of the game though
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Old 03-03-2014, 11:39 PM   #62
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Sylmar, it's where most of the stuff goes on. Really nice facility actually, but the area blows lol.

WHAT!! That sounds so insane. Biomedical is such an interesting field because you need full on mechanical engineers and you need biologists to work together. Knowing just one aspect won't get you very far. To be completely honest I was never totally 'stoked' on the type of mechanical engineering work in this field. It's mostly tiny, very expensive, parts that don't really do anything. I'm definitely more into building machines and tooling used to make these parts. It's all part of the game though
That's why there's a degree that combines both fields...biomedical engineering.

A colleague of mine has a Bachelor's in Chemical and Biomedical engineering as well as a Master's in Mechanical engineering.

He essentially told me the Bachelor's in biomedical engineering is useless unless pursuing graduate level or higher research/studies because the education and specialties of the degree is for a niche market.
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:27 AM   #63
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^ Not Necessarily true. One of my biomed friends is finishing up med school, but the other designed medical devices for a couple years. He quit work and spent a year driving around the country, not exactly sure what he's doing now.
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Old 03-04-2014, 08:36 AM   #64
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^ Not Necessarily true. One of my biomed friends is finishing up med school, but the other designed medical devices for a couple years. He quit work and spent a year driving around the country, not exactly sure what he's doing now.
Did your friend just have a Bachelor's in hand when he worked? Just curious

What my colleague said was his opinion and is just anecdotal evidence. I'll entertain the topic again today to understand why he mentioned it.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:11 AM   #65
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Yeah a BS in biomedical engineering. One thing I thought was weird, and Sam might be able to comment on this, is that he told me in his field the norm was to move laterally as you move up. Comanies rarely hired from within the company when a position opened up.

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Old 03-04-2014, 09:20 AM   #66
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So, with your education and experience, I would guess that companies are clamoring for you.
Yes and I'm not trying to brag or be the typical "E46OT guy". The turnover rate in the med device industry has gone up as the economy improved. I get at least 5-6 calls a week from headhunters or other companies for new opportunities. Other companies are battling to either steal or retain talent and either is an expensive proposition. Average raises for switching companies is in the 20% range and I actually just accepted a new position with a 35% raise.

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As an engineer, have you ever been tasked with communicating with females or upper managers?
I'm not sure if this is sarcasm or not but yes to both. While engineering is pretty male dominated, there are quite a few female engineers and several engineering managers/directors/VP's/etc. It's not uncommon anymore.

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If his position is anything similar to mine as he stated, I'm going out on a limb for him and say yes. Both head hunters and companies are actively seeking candidates who are project managers/product developers. There seems to be a short supply of qualified folks currently in the industry.
^ This. There are tons of engineers out there but very few good ones that know their hands on stuff. There are a lot of followers and not very many innovators and leaders.

What part of the med device industry do you work in?

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Thought there might be a medical grade kind
That is the medical grade. 100% biocompatible.

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How has learning calculus helped you do your job ? Do you use Wolfram ? Which classes from school have helped you the most in your career? Srs, do you use linux at work ?
I haven't used calculus since I graduated college. Very very few people do. Pay attention in statistics though, it actually matters a lot more than calculus in the real world.

I don't use Wolfram, I use my TI-89 in the event that I need it or MATLAB if I need more horsepower.

The most helpful classes for a given career path and specialty all vary. For my particular career and role the mechanics and fluid mechanics classes were the most important with thermodynamics and heat transfer closely following.

No, I don't use Linux...I didn't think anyone really did haha.

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WHAT!! That sounds so insane. Biomedical is such an interesting field because you need full on mechanical engineers and you need biologists to work together. Knowing just one aspect won't get you very far. To be completely honest I was never totally 'stoked' on the type of mechanical engineering work in this field. It's mostly tiny, very expensive, parts that don't really do anything. I'm definitely more into building machines and tooling used to make these parts. It's all part of the game though
It would take quite a long post to explain how that works, I'll try and do that this afternoon if I have another slow day.

The mechanical engineering of steerable catheters and valves are far more interesting than that of pacemakers. The stuff actually moves and isn't just a can with some batteries in it and you have to do a lot more than fatigue analysis for your devices.

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That's why there's a degree that combines both fields...biomedical engineering.

A colleague of mine has a Bachelor's in Chemical and Biomedical engineering as well as a Master's in Mechanical engineering.

He essentially told me the Bachelor's in biomedical engineering is useless unless pursuing graduate level or higher research/studies because the education and specialties of the degree is for a niche market.
^ Untrue. It is for a niche market but the market is VERY large. I work with many BME majors on a day to day basis. For the most part, they have the same job as I do but with a better initial (key word) understanding of the biology aspects of the job. I say initial because it's not all that hard unless you are in strictly research and can be learned fairly quickly.

Overall ME is a more universal engineering major that can be used for anything. A BS in BME is fairly limiting for a career path.
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Old 03-04-2014, 09:22 AM   #67
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Yeah a BS in biomedical engineering. One thing I thought was weird, and Sam might be able to comment on this, is that he told me in his field the norm was to move laterally as you move up. Comanies rarely hired from within the company when a position opened up.

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This largely depends on the company but many companies are looking to fill in new talent for new ideas and experience hence the desire to fill from outside. The biggest advances in career will be from switching companies no matter what field you're in.
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:25 AM   #68
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What part of the med device industry do you work in?
Not in the medical device industry directly but a PDE in the food and medical packaging industry. I work for a large packaging corporation that supplies innovative packaging for larger corporations and the government.
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:36 AM   #69
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I work in the medical device industry as well (blood analysis equipment R&D), has the 2.5% medical device tax hit your company hard? Mine is moving as much as possible back to the Europe.
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:47 AM   #70
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I work in the medical device industry as well (blood analysis equipment R&D), has the 2.5% medical device tax hit your company hard? Mine is moving as much as possible back to the Europe.
Information on tax? This is news to me...
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:48 AM   #71
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As far as the oil and gas industry goes, there's definitely a lot of lateral movement. Not so much a reluctance to hire from within, just more of a lack of aversion to looking to competitors.
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:49 AM   #72
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Not in the medical device industry directly but a PDE in the food and medical packaging industry. I work for a large packaging corporation that supplies innovative packaging for larger corporations and the government.
Awesome, hence the packaging questions.

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I work in the medical device industry as well (blood analysis equipment R&D), has the 2.5% medical device tax hit your company hard? Mine is moving as much as possible back to the Europe.
Yeah, the tax hit everyone starting 2014 I believe. There has been a large push by most companies to move many things to be manufactured out of the country to avoid a lot of that tax but that's a huge undertaking.
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Old 03-04-2014, 10:56 AM   #73
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Information on tax? This is news to me...
To help pay for Obamacare any medical device manufacturer, from thermometers to CAT scan to Blood analysis equipment and pacemakers, has to pay a 2.5% tax on any device manufactured in the US.
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:05 AM   #74
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Interesting stuff. Do you find that the move to make device implantation less invasive has caused any decline or slowdown in their progression? Is there any push to make valves for both sides of the heart? Also, what about partial heart transplants? Maybe a transcatheter left ventricle replacement. That would be pretty sweet.

Edit: Do you also see any breakthroughs coming in stenting?

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Old 03-04-2014, 11:15 AM   #75
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Yeah, the tax hit everyone starting 2014 I believe. There has been a large push by most companies to move many things to be manufactured out of the country to avoid a lot of that tax but that's a huge undertaking.
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To help pay for Obamacare any medical device manufacturer, from thermometers to CAT scan to Blood analysis equipment and pacemakers, has to pay a 2.5% tax on any device manufactured in the US.
Ouch. Will research. And people wonder why manufacturing is leaving this country.
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:31 AM   #76
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any chance you need patent counsel op? mike larry wants a bonus this year
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:37 AM   #77
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Interesting stuff. Do you find that the move to make device implantation less invasive has caused any decline or slowdown in their progression? Is there any push to make valves for both sides of the heart? Also, what about partial heart transplants? Maybe a transcatheter left ventricle replacement. That would be pretty sweet.

Edit: Do you also see any breakthroughs coming in stenting?
No, definitely no slowdown in development at all. New, smaller, less invasive, and more effective products are coming through the pipeline fast and furious. With the ability to manufacture smaller components and technology allowing us to design on the computer before we really make anything, it really speeds up the process.

There's definitely a push to make transcatheter replacement valves for all four valves but right now the only one is the aortic valve as it's the biggest and easiest to get to. As technology improves and the device can be shrunk down more, you'll see more of the other valves show up.

Heart transplants aren't as necessary as they used to be. With pacing technology improving and the field of electrophysiology improving to the point where a pacemaker can sense and pace a heart with complete heart block (CHB) and electrophysiology able to correct many arrhythmias non-invasively, it's not often you see someone needing a heart transplant unless there's actual death of cardiac tissue. Electrophysiology is a very interesting field that involves the conduction system of the heart. I'll find an article or two later on and post up. It's a good read.

Transcatheter ventricle replacement isn't possible, because of anatomy there's no way that would ever work. That said, there are devices on the market for left ventricular assist devices (LVAD) that are basically implanted pumps tied to a quite large external battery. They are used in scenarios where the patient has really no other choice due to enlarged ventricles or other issues.

Stenting has kind of plateaued at this point. There hasn't been a whole lot of advances at this point to drive for newer technologies. That said, they are working on absorbable stents that go away over time as well as new, smaller, longer lasting stents with new drug coatings that improve their effectiveness. Not sure when any of those will hit the market.
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:38 AM   #78
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any chance you need patent counsel op? mike larry wants a bonus this year
We have an army of lawyers already.

All of my patents go through a contracted outside firm for filing.
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:41 AM   #79
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any chance you need patent counsel op? mike larry wants a bonus this year
How does that work Mike?

For example, at my company we have corporate attorneys that take care of filing for patents and handle the process.

Do you work for a patent law office or on your own? Are your clients individuals/small companies or do you ever deal with large corporations?

And I take it, if an individual/company files with you, part of those legal fees include a commission to you?
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Old 03-04-2014, 11:43 AM   #80
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Yeah a BS in biomedical engineering. One thing I thought was weird, and Sam might be able to comment on this, is that he told me in his field the norm was to move laterally as you move up. Comanies rarely hired from within the company when a position opened up.

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I call this "jumping ship" and that's exactly what I've done. I have never been promoted from within a company. If I want to take a next step, I switch companies.

It's a real PITA to convince your current employer to pay you more money for the same work. It's much easier to convince someone else.
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