When Natalie Nguyen began her hunt for a Biomedical Engineering program in the United States, a good reputation was important. For the full experience, she specifically sought a national university with an expansive campus. Not only did Miami University of Ohio have enough facilities to go around, but its engineering program also ranked among the U.S.’s top 20 national public universities by U.S. News & World Report. The university itself ranks among the U.S.’s top 50 U.S. national public universities also by U.S. News & World Report. When it comes to technical coding skills, it ranks second in the country by CodeSignal.org. Miami University of Ohio is renowned for providing future engineers and computer scientists with the toolkits needed to solve global-scale challenges.
Little wonder why research opportunities were not hard to come about. “The chance to work in state-of-the-art laboratories stood out to me,” says Nguyen. “In Vietnam, we don’t have the facilities for each student to conduct their own experiments.”
As an undergraduate, she has been able to explore several aspects of chemistry, electrical engineering, and biology through research. Once she started relishing such experiences in her freshman year, stopping was not an option. Today, her focus area is photonics and the use of light in imaging for medical devices.
For her, immersion was never a challenge thanks to several support services dedicated to students. “There are a lot of social events that help you feel not so far away from home,” she explains. “I especially enjoyed activities organized by the Miami Activities and Programming Committee (MAP) on campus.”
These offerings made it incredibly easy for Sakshi Shah from India to enjoy her Computer Science program to the fullest. Her favourite lessons revolve around integrating math techniques and problem-solving skills into a field that deeply intrigues her.
Shah was even able to apply her newfound skills in various ways alongside expert practitioners — such as through the Design Innovation Challenge hosted by the Miami University Center for Assistive Technology. Her team was responsible for designing labels that are accessible and were to be used by the university’s Student Disability Services, known as AccessMU.
“I worked at AccessMU previously and reached out to the director,” she recalls. “He appreciated our team for everything we were doing and trusted us with the use of expensive machinery. We received support from other departments as well. With our combined effort, we ended up winning the competition!”
Miami University’s College of Engineering and Computing stands out for preparing its learners for the workforce through experiential opportunities like these. Every program offered is flexible enough for students to juggle classroom enrichment with work opportunities for niche businesses or global corporations. Pathways to these possibilities include majors in biomedical engineering, chemical engineering, computer science, software engineering, electrical engineering, engineering management, robotics engineering, manufacturing engineering, and mechanical engineering.
Karen Elisha-Wigwe from Nigeria took the mechanical engineering route. Although her parents wanted her to be a doctor, the tools her father leveraged in his medical practice intrigued her more. Four years later, she’s grateful to have let curiosity lead the way. “There is so much happening in technology now,” she explains. “I want to be a part of the innovation. I want to be in that creative space and not miss out on all the technological advances.”
Fusing comprehensive engineering lessons with a suite of enriching extracurriculars, she’s well on her way. Currently, Elisha-Wigwe is an active member of the National Society of Black Engineers and the Grand Challenges Scholars Program. The latter gives students the ability to design their own academic experience, conduct research, explore service-learning, and practice entrepreneurship. She is also a Resident Assistant in Miami’s residence halls.
Her research on Carbon Fiber Reinforced Polymers consists of nano-scale, self-propellant swimmers that could potentially be used for drug delivery, energy storage, and more. She is using these swimmers and changing their properties to see how they react.
Of course, the rigorous tasks that come with a career-focused program need to be balanced with fun as well. Thankfully, there’s a lot to love about life in Oxford, Ohio. Karolina Kugiel, a mechanical engineering junior from Poland, can attest to this. “Everyone is friendly, willing to help, and genuinely interested in getting to know me,” she says. “Never once have I felt unwelcomed. My peers and I are like a family.”
Shah agrees. “Starting a new chapter of my life in a new country and culture was definitely challenging but meeting so many excellent people and learning from them every single day have been very rewarding,” she says.
As a Global Ambassador, Shah spends her time helping more international learners experience the cosmopolitan education provided at the university she knows and loves. “Don’t let financial concerns stop you from dreaming big,” she advises.
After all, as an original Public Ivy, Miami University of Ohio provides Ivy League-quality education at a public-school price with an exceptional return on investment. So, what are you waiting for? Click here to begin your journey to engineering and computer science mastery at Miami University of Ohio.