Andrea Lehn

 

Bachelor of Science 2015, Biomedical Engineering

Andrea Lehn graduated from GWU with a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering and an unintentional minor in Philosophy (thanks, UHP!) At GWU, she was a Clark Engineering Scholar. She studied abroad at the University of Melbourne in Melbourne, Australia. After graduation she went right back to school and is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Mechanical Engineering at MIT. Her research interests revolve around fluid dynamics, heat and mass transfer, biology and sustainability. At MIT Andrea is involved in many activities related to student support, teaching, outreach and communications. 

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What excites you about the work you do? Doctoral work is exciting because it presents the opportunity to create an original, meaningful contribution to the academic community. It has the potential to be complex, challenging and impactful.

What is the most significant career experience you've had so far, and what made it meaningful to you? It was a glorious moment when I passed my qualifying exams. They are notoriously challenging and passing them on the first attempt was rewarding and validating. To me, it meant that my perseverance had paid off.

How did GWU and the UHP prepare you for your professional journey? The UHP gave me the opportunity to hone my communication and critical thinking skills outside of a STEM class. That academic diversity was essential to my growth. I was consistently challenged by my UHP classes, but in a way that felt encouraging and empowering. To my surprise I actually did much better in all my classes when I was enrolled in UHP subjects compared to when I was not. Now I strive to maintain balance in my academic pursuits to sustain a holistic perspective.

Advice for current UHP students: I got a C in one of my engineering classes at GWU and I thought it was a total calamity! Now I can look back and laugh. I was very unforgiving toward myself when I felt I hadn't lived up to my own expectations. Simple forgiveness and compassion has made all the difference for me. Now, I am much kinder to myself and to others as a result.

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