BME Awards Given at Senior BBQ

May 23, 2016

Anny Cunha, a BME junior, and Anne Harris, a BME senior, were recognized by the biomedical engineering department as Alfred R. & Janet H. Potvin Outstanding Undergraduate Students in Biomedical Engineering and Zoe Reidinger was recognized as the BME Teacher of the Year.

Anny Cunha, a junior Biomedical Engineering student, born in Brazil and raised in Lancaster, MA. She is a registered nurse and transferred to WPI to complete a track in Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering. Anny was the president of Alpha Eta Mu Beta Biomedical Engineering Honor Society and is an honorary member of the WPI chapter of the National Academy of Inventors. She plans on attending graduate school to obtain a Ph. D. in Biomedical Engineering.

Anne Harris, a senior Biomedical Engineering student born in Kilgore, Texas and raised in Buffalo, New York. She has graduated from WPI with a Bachelors of Science in Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in biomaterials and tissue engineering. She has also earned a minor in Computer Science, focused in database management and software engineering. She has been a member of the Varsity Track and Field team all four years at WPI as a sprinter, and went to the 2014 DIII NCAA competition on the women's 4x100m relay. She was involved in the Biomedical Engineering Society where she served as the Nationals Coordinator and worked as a Peer Learning Assistant for the BME Department. Her patent pending senior project, the Canine Abdominal Palpation Device, will be used at Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University in a veterinarian simulation lab and earned honorable mention for the BME Project Presentation Day Competition. She plans on working in design engineering for a biomedical device company. She would like to thank the Potvin family and the BME Department for bestowing this honorable award and is looking forward to continued involvement in biomedical engineering endeavors.

The BME Department has the honor of awarding prestigious scholarships to outstanding students majoring in biomedical engineering, thanks to the generosity of an alumnus of WPI, Dr. Alfred Potvin. Dr. Alfred Potvin, an electrical engineering undergraduate student at WPI from 1960-64, has enjoyed a highly successful professional career in BME in both academia and industry. He founded the BME program at The University of Texas at Arlington as a joint program with the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and served as its first Chairman. Today, it has over 175 graduate students. He also founded and served as Director of the Medical Instrument Systems Division at Eli Lilly and Company in Indianapolis, and concluded his career as Dean of Engineering and Technology at Indiana University and Purdue University at Indianapolis where he developed the foundation for its BME Department with the IU Medical Center and Purdue University in West Lafayette. He also served as a member and as a Chairman of the advisory committee for the BME Department at WPI during Dr. Bob Peura’s tenure as Department Head.

The intent of the Potvin Undergraduate Scholar in Biomedical Engineering is to provide recognition and reward to students majoring in BME at the junior or senior level who have achieved truly outstanding academic credentials. In addition to their academic achievements, these students demonstrate exemplary service to the BME Department, the University, and to the community, possessing outstanding potential for professional success as a biomedical engineer.

Zoe Reidinger was recognized as the BME department teacher of the year. She is in her second year as an assistant teaching professor in the bioengineering department, having graduated with her PhD from WPI in the spring of 2015. Her teaching focuses on using a project-based approach to introduce students to engineering design challenges and biomaterial fabrication.