Wednesday, April 27, 2022 9:13 PM
Eight engineering students from the University of Notre Dame recently visited Kosciusko County to look into career opportunities in Kosciusko County.
The visit, organized by OrthoWorx, as part of the ThinkOrtho program, included tours and conversations with staff from DePuy Synthes, The Orthopedics Company of Johnson & Johnson and Paragon Medical.
“We have such great career opportunities in innovative global companies here in our region,” said Nichole Rouached, communications and projects manager for OrthoWorx. “But what really sets these companies apart is that they help patients lead better lives through the products and services they offer. This is important for today’s students.
The tour began at Paragon Medical where the students saw how orthopedic implants, instruments, and instrument cases are designed and produced. They also saw Paragon’s BioSkills lab, where medical professionals are trained in the latest orthopedic surgery techniques. Students discussed technologies and careers with Paragon Medical employees Dan Smallwood, Manager of Operational Excellence, and Andre Chilafoe, Manager of Bioskills. MaRissa Thatcher, talent acquisition and development specialist, helped organize the tour for the students. She emphasized that internship opportunities through Paragon Medical “are an immersive experience, where engineering candidates learn skills in using a range of equipment so they know the process of creating products they can. design”.
The final stop on the tour was at DePuy Synthes, where the students met Liz Wiederhold, Senior Project Manager, and Steph Recker, Product Development Engineer. Students were able to hear how Revra DePuy started the Orthopedic Capital of the World® with the founding of DePuy in 1895. In addition, students were able to tour the manufacturing plant and gain insight into the activities in the laboratories. They were also introduced to the VELYS™ robot-assisted solution, which can be used during total knee reconstruction surgery.
Susan Clark, who led the Notre Dame tour, said these field trips are important for the students.
“What impresses me and our students is the incredible variety of career fields and disciplines the medical device industry offers,” Clark said. “The fact that these devices need to interact with the human body in a safe and efficient manner makes the technical challenges all the more interesting.”
According to Rouached, OrthoWorx intends to organize such tours in the future with students from various universities.
“This is a program that we have had to put on hold due to COVID restrictions,” she said, “but we look forward to preparing and informing a range of students of the great opportunities career here in the region.”
Formed in 2009 with seed funding from the Lilly Endowment for the Orthopedics Capital Foundation, OrthoWorx Initiatives (www.orthoworxindiana.com) features community-based strategic collaborations with the orthopedic industry and other stakeholders to ensure that the Warsaw region continues to reap the social and economic benefits that come from being the orthopedic capital of the world.® Learn more about the ThinkOrtho program at www.thinkortho.net.
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