My Name is Sarah Harris. I feel incredibly grateful to have been born and raised in Canada, a Country that is clean and safe. One of the most important traits of a stable country is solid institutional infrastructure. Domestic manufacturing creates a stable economy and supports Canadian society both socially and economically by providing jobs and Canadian representation in the global market. I have always wanted to dedicate my work to solving social, environmental and economic issues: the manufacturing industry is vital to supporting each of these factors.
I am pursuing a degree in biomedical engineering as a student in the biosystems engineering program at the University of Manitoba. Within the field of biomedical engineering my goal is to become a project manager in biomedical manufacturing. My exposure to design and additive manufacturing at school, as well as my work experiences in the medical field have inspired me to continue with my studies in biomedical engineering and manufacturing. The most powerful experience I have had as a student was sitting in the operation room and observing joint replacement surgery. Observing surgery served as a lesson in the ethical responsibility associated with the production of medical devices. Every tool in the operation room directly affects the life of the patient receiving surgery. After witnessing a live surgery, I realized that I wanted to be a part of the manufacturing and engineering of medical devices.
I was fortunate enough to receive an internship recently with the Orthopedic Innovation Center (OIC) in Winnipeg, Canada which aims to improve the quality of orthopedic treatments and performs standardized testing for new medical devices, and implant retrieval analysis. During my internship with the OIC I became familiar with industry standards for medical devices, additive manufacturing and 3D modeling, and gained hands on experience with the powerful joint simulator machinery. Furthermore, the assembly and disassembly of the various medical devices that were tested, was part of my regular work at the OIC. My exposure to the modeling, and testing process for medical devices at the OIC has been invaluable to my education and has motivated me to continue working with medical devices in the manufacturing industry.
I am heavily involved in my engineering community at the University of Manitoba, and I dedicate time to volunteer and give back to my faculty. One of my greatest accomplishments is my student group start-up project the Women of Manitoba Engineering Network (WOMEN). I am a co-founder with WOMEN, a student group that aims to promote opportunities for female identifying engineering students at the University of Manitoba. Prior to the formation of WOMEN I was connected to female role models from industry through a mentorship program, I was very motivated by their passion for engineering. Following my participation in this mentorship program, I was selected as a delegate to attend the Conference on Diversity in Engineering (CDE) at McGill University. The WOMEN student group was established on the heels of the CDE. At CDE I was reminded of my positive experience with my female mentors and became motivated to become more actively involved with the programs and services offered to minority groups in the faculty of engineering at the University of Manitoba. Since its formulation in January of 2017, our program has established a constitution, financial support, hosted many events, and become a recognized student group by both the university and the faculty of engineering. Furthermore, I am proud to say that I have played a substantial role in establishing connections for WOMEN to the Dean of Engineering, and the Association of Professional Engineers and Geoscientists Manitoba.
The manufacturing industry is an opportunity to provide stability to society through innovative processes and design. I am passionate about my education and committed to my professional development outside of academics. As a co-founder of the Women Of Manitoba Engineering Network student group I believe it is important to empower female identifying students and promote engineering and manufacturing as careers. I would like to say thank you to Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters for empowering young women like myself to follow their ambitions in this industry.