Tag: engineering

Alex Blustein graduates Dec. 3 with a double major in systems engineering in the School of Engineering & Applied Science and finance at Olin.

Blustein has visited home less than 40 days since arriving at Washington University in St. Louis in 2013. The Tampa native has spent every summer of his undergraduate years either traveling or working.

“It’s a Jewish mother’s nightmare,” Blustein said with a laugh. “But WashU offered me so many opportunities and experiences that I wanted to take advantage of. I love the classroom, but my time outside of the classroom has really helped me better understand the world.”

Early next year, he will begin Anheuser-Busch InBev’s 10-month rotational Global Management Trainee Program. “I’ll learn about everything from marketing to supply to brewing,” said Blustein, who will take a management position with the company after his rotation. “It’s perfect for a person who likes to understand multiple facets of a business from more than one angle.”

Blustein said he chose Washington University for a couple of reasons. One, the university accommodates students who want to complete different majors in different schools. To Blustein, who gives tours to potential engineering students, that just makes sense.

“I always tell people on my tours that college is the time to follow their passion and to try new things,” Blustein said. “Using two different parts of your brain is not only mentally exciting, it makes you more competitive in the job market.”

The second reason: One of the people Blustein most admires also picked Washington University — his brother Zachary Blustein, who graduated in 2013 with a degree in chemical engineering and now works for Emerson Process Management.

“He is just the first in a long line of amazing role models,” said Blustein, who counts fellow members of business fraternity Delta Sigma Pi and social fraternity Sigma Nu as key mentors. “From the moment I arrived, I met so many motivated and talented upperclassmen who mentored me throughout my years at WashU.

“Many would  say to me , ‘Alex, you have to apply to this program,’ or ‘Alex, you must study abroad.’  I am most grateful to my brother and older friends for their advice. Their guidance has served me well.”

The summer after his first year, Blustein participated in Olin’s Israel Summer Business Academy, where he worked for an agriculture technology startup in Tel Aviv. He spent the next two summers working for AB InBev, first in St. Louis and then in New York. And spring of his junior year, he studied in Hong Kong — a systems engineer’s paradise.

“Their metro system? I could talk forever about its efficiency,” Blustein said. “Traveling helps you see what’s possible.”

And not just technologically, Blustein said.

“Every day abroad you make a new friend or better understand a different culture,” Blustein said. “My travels have strengthened my faith in humanity. People are good.

Guest Blogger: Diane Toroian Keaggy, Class Acts series originally published on WashU’s The Source.

Since ArchHacks is just around the corner (November 4-6), we thought it would be useful to go into more detail about our theme: HealthTech. Specifically, what HealthTech is, how it started, and what it has evolved into today.

HealthTech, short for Health Technology, involves applying a combination of medical and engineering knowledge to solving health-related problems. HealthTech includes everything from drugs, vaccines, medical devices, and procedures, to the general improvement of medical systems. To better understand how HealthTech has evolved, it is useful to divide its history into three periods: the pre-computer period, the pre-Internet period, and the post-Internet period.

One of the very first HealthTech devices was the stethoscope, invented in 1816 to make it easier to listen to a person’s heartbeat without having to press your ear against their skin. In 1895, Wilhelm Röntgen accidentally discovered X-rays, which made it possible to identify bone structure. Devices that we might now take for granted were revolutionary in their time and pushed medical innovation forward.

In the next century, as computers became more powerful, the size of devices decreased and brought about inventions such as the pacemaker and other medical implants. Around the same time, the now ubiquitous MRI and CT scan machines were invented. New devices were of increasing complexity and functionality and greatly improved medicine.

Today, the proliferation of smartphones, coupled with powerful internet, has made it easier to access information than ever before.

Mobile health technology

Source: Macrovector/Shutterstock.com

Innovation has made it possible for consumers to use portable devices to access their medical information, monitor their vital signs, take tests at home, and carry out a wide range of tasks. The patient has greater control over his or her health, and is less dependent on doctors and hospitals.

There is an increased demand in HealthTech due to its many benefits and ease of access. This has incentivized developers to create new apps centered around health, and it has opened up the possibility for unprecedented collaboration. As data is now collected in real time, companies are able to collect large amounts of personal medical data. The convergence of Artificial Intelligence and Big Data is allowing doctors to find new patterns in this data and use it to approach finding cures in unique ways.

One of the biggest challenges in HealthTech is to create an ecosystem where devices can all communicate with one another to provide consumers with personalized solutions. Thousands of mobile health technologies exist, ranging from diet and fitness trackers to sleep monitors, but each of these devices is more useful when combined with others. A study by Grand View Research reported that the HealthTech market is anticipated to reach $ 104.5 billion by the year 2020.


To tap into this potential and remain competitive in the market, HealthTech companies will have to become less isolated and collaborate in order to create the best products and provide the best value to their consumers.

Want to get involved in ArchHacks? Apply to be a volunteer!


Viamor Research Solutions LLC, tied for first place in the Engineering School’s annual Discovery Competition. Viamor will split the $25,000 prize with the other top-scoring team, Envisioning Solutions. Viamor honed its business plan in Olin’s Hatchery entrepreneurship course.

The team is headed by Ben Berman, a junior majoring in computer science; Ryan Charnov, a senior majoring in entrepreneurship and economics and strategy at Olin; Michael Harding, a senior majoring in biomedical engineering and entrepreneurship; and Elizabeth Russell, a senior majoring in biomedical engineering. The team will also receive $2,500 in legal services from Polsinelli.

Viamor Research Solutions has developed a discovery_news_article_72novel solution to replace prior methods of testing the viability of cells. The team developed an inexpensive technology that uses recent advances in digital holography, an imaging technique that uses optical components and software to reproduce a 3-D rendering of the sample. The system will take images of about 100 samples in under 5 minutes without destroying the cells. The product will be targeted to cancer and cell biology research.

Click on the video above to see Ryan, Michael, and Elizabeth pitch Viamor in the second round of the Arch Grants competition.

Learn more about the companies that competed in the Discovery Competition here.

The School of Engineering & Applied Science launched the Discovery Competition in September 2012 to promote new and innovative discoveries to solve challenges or needs. The competition provides engineering undergraduate students the forum to explore their entrepreneurial interests with support from mentors, to use their creativity to develop solutions for real-world problems and to compete for financial resources that could help turn their ideas into businesses.  The competition is an annual event and is funded by Engineering alumni.

Teams were comprised of currently enrolled WUSTL undergraduate students, with at least one engineering student and at least one non-engineering student on each team.

For more information, go to engineering.wustl.edu/discovery

Thanks to Beth Miller at the School of Engineering & Applied Science for this story.

When faculty, medical and engineering students collaborate to design solutions for problems in clinical medicine and healthcare delivery they combine powerful knowledge and perspectives that often develop prototypes in one semester. Members of Wash U’s IDEA Labs explain how the collaboration works and talk about projects that are helping patients in this episode of the Domain Tech Report on Techli.com.



Blake Marggraff, president of Washington University Tech Entrepreneurs (WUTE), a junior in the School of Engineering & Applied Science, and has two startups in California. Blake is this week’s guest on the Domain Tech Report on Techli.com.