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‘Imagination at Work’

September 17, 2013
Amanda Emrich (center) with colleagues at GE Healthcare

Amanda Emrich (center) with colleagues at GE Healthcare

Amanda Emrich, a biomedical engineering student in NIU’s College of Engineering and Engineering Technology, spent her summer interning for one of the largest U.S. multinational conglomerate corporations, General Electric.

Emrich focused on CT scanners (a dream for biomedical engineering majors) at General Electric Healthcare. CT scanners (computerized tomography) are responsible for medicine and biology diagnosis discoveries – the very problems biomedical engineers look to solve every day.

Working with a team, Emrich tackled the hardest task of the summer: testing a CT scanner without using a human being.

The use of “phantoms” (a plastic case filled with water) in these are essential because they replicate the image of a human.  While CT scanners are in the test phases, they still emit radiation and have to be tested before being sent out for public use.

Emrich’s job was to inventory the more than 300 phantoms at the facility as well as find missing ones and update documents. She also created a presentation to the CT Systems team entailing the correct process of testing with these phantoms.

“What’s really cool about GE is they don’t treat you like a lowly intern,” Emrich said. “I felt appreciated and worthy. I was able to meet some really awesome high-up people.”

GE logoAlong with the General Electric employees she was grateful to work with, Emrich was surrounded by a diverse collection of more than 150 interns from institutions such as Duke and Notre Dame.

Through a competitive process in which only 12 interns out of the 40 who were chosen to interview, she applied and was chosen for the Edison Engineering Development Program, a two-year rotational program that requires the interns to transition to a new job within GE Healthcare, in a different location every six months.Emrich will start the program in January.

While she will receive versatile training in GE Healthcare, Emrich also will be trained in other specialty areas such as mechanical and electrical concepts along with leadership training. Next summer, Emrich gets the opportunity to travel to Italy with the Edison Engineering Development Program to work closely with GE Healthcare.

Closer to home, Emrich contributes to #WHYENGINEERING, a marketing campaign to motivate and encourage NIU engineering students to get involved within the college, realize the potential and importance of their education career and recognize the necessity of securing internships with our corporate partnerships.