Sean O’Keefe is a University Professor and the Howard G. and S. Louise Phanstiel Chair in Strategic Management and Leadership in the Maxwell School. O’Keefe served as administrator of NASA during the George W. Bush Administration. In a recent op-ed…
An Engineer for Global Health: Andrew Ramos ’17
Bioengineers are, quite literally, engineers of health. In that role, they have a true responsibility to put their expertise and skills to work for the good of others. Bioengineering senior Andrew Ramos ’17 doesn’t see any reason to wait until he graduates to contribute to a healthier world.
Ramos came to Syracuse University as a self-described “shy freshman” who was unsure about who he was or where he was headed. By taking advantage of the opportunities available to him on campus, he has become an extremely active, outgoing scholar and student leader.
One of those opportunities arose when a student chapter of Engineering World Health (EWH) was established in the College of Engineering and Computer Science. EWH is a global organization whose mission is to improve the delivery of healthcare in the developing world. Today, Ramos serves as president of the organization.
He says, “I’m a huge believer in providing things to people that don’t have them. Discovering that I have an opportunity to contribute at the international level was a powerful thing, so I became passionate about investing my time and energy in this organization.”
Under Ramos’ leadership, EWH hosts bioinstrumentation workshops where students assemble optical heart rate monitors and electrocardiogram simulators. When complete, the devices are sent back to EWH headquarters, where they are distributed to developing countries. This semester, the group will conduct new workshops in which students will do the same with prosthetic arms. EWH will be hosting sessions on campus during National Engineers Week, Feb. 19-25.
They have also mentored and tutored students in science, technology, mathematics and engineering at Syracuse’s Northeast Community Center. Soon they will guide activities using EWH K-12 STEM kits, including model circulatory systems and “plug and play” optical heart rate monitors.
Students in EWH are even designing a low-cost alternative for standalone surgical lamps. They have plans to collaborate with the SU MakerSpace and Engineering and Computer Science Student Shop and hope to have a prototype completed by the end of this semester.
“Our activities in EWH are a nice parallel with our bioengineering curriculum. They give us an opportunity to experience hands-on application of what we learn in the classroom,” says Ramos.
And EWH isn’t limited to engineering students. Any student who is currently affiliated with SU or ESF can become a member and EWH programs are open to all. Students can learn more or sign up by contacting Ramos at email@example.com.
In addition to his ardent commitment to EWH, Ramos contributes to Assistant Professor Pranav Soman’s bone engineering research, and tutors fellow undergrads as an Academic Excellence Workshop Facilitator. He serves as a Remebrance Scholar, honoring Turhan Ergin, and is also treasurer of the Biomedical Engineering Society.
He sees his current trajectory leading to graduate school to attain a Ph.D. in bioengineering with a concentration in tissue engineering and stem cells or entering industry to work for a biotechnology company as a research and development scientist.
“Engineers have the ability to build, innovate and create solutions to all sorts of big problems. By gaining experience working with others and seeing the solutions and products we develop, it becomes clear to us that we can serve a critical role.”