Student Q&A: Biomedical Engineering Senior on Experience, Leveraging Stevens Education as a Process Development Engineering Intern
Natalie Logan ’23 put her engineering skills into action for a summer internship at biotechnology startup Element Biosciences
In Summer 2022, Stevens Institute of Technology senior biomedical engineering major Natalie Logan ’23 was a process development engineering intern at Element Biosciences, a San Diego-based biotechnology company that produces benchtop DNA sequencers. While in her home state of California, she worked with research and development to translate devices so they could be reproduced in manufacturing.
Logan joined Jeremiah Chinwendu ’25, a second-year biomedical engineering student, to talk about the experience.
Chinwendu: What was your role at Element Biosciences?
Logan: My individual role was to write instructions for the manufacturing technicians to package the module, or subcomponent of the [DNA] sequencer, so they can be shipped out to the instruments in the field. Each instrument had different modules that went into it, and each module needed to be packaged in a specific way so that, if they were damaged in the field, they could be replaced adequately.
C: What did a typical day look like as a process development engineer?
L: On a typical day, I did a lot of cross-functional communication to ensure that my project was staying on track with its timeline. I worked with the manufacturing engineers to see which modules were on the line and what needed to be put out into the field. I communicated with packaging engineers to ensure that the packaging was reproducible. I also collaborated with quality engineers to ensure the implementation instructions were clear, correct and easy for field engineers to follow.
C: What did you like about working at Element Biosciences?
L: I like that it’s a startup. Startup culture is fast paced and flexible, so I was able to take on a lot of different projects, which gave me a well-rounded experience and the opportunity to grow. Element Biosciences has a very diverse and inclusive community, with everyone working closely together and spending time with one another. The company also has a female CEO, which I found inspiring as a woman in STEM [science, technology, engineering and math].
C: How did Stevens prepare you for this internship?
L: The class structure of having to work on a project with other people for a whole semester helped me gain skills in troubleshooting and critical thinking. These kinds of skills are especially important considering the amount of communication and collaboration required for developing the devices at the company.
C: Do you have any advice for students looking for internships?
L: I would say keep an open mind. It is helpful to apply to different types of internships so that you can explore what interests you most about the biomedical engineering field.