Bryce Hina says Zimmer Biomet loves engineers who graduate from Trine University.
“We have the technical thinking skills to get things done and done well,” he said. “Personally, Trine helped me develop the critical thinking skills needed to overcome obstacles encountered in the manufacturing process.”
Graduating from Trine in 2018 with degrees in electrical and biomedical engineering, Bryce became a manufacturing engineer at Zimmer, where he had interned while a student. His work for the company included initiating new manufacturing sites, facilitating the process for new products from beginning to end.
While he enjoyed working at Zimmer, he knew he had other long-term goals.
“My desire was always to complete a Ph.D., but I wanted to go into industry first,” he said.
Bryce is now serving as a research and teaching assistant and working on his Ph.D. in biomedical engineering at Drexel University in Pennsylvania. Under the direction of Catherine Von Reyn, Ph.D., who leads the university’s Neural Circuit Engineering Lab, he will assist in research to identify the roles of specific neurons in the brains of fruit flies.
"Trine helped me develop the critical thinking skills needed to overcome obstacles encountered in the manufacturing process."- Bryce Hina
The goal, he said, is to gain better understanding into how neural circuits function, and apply that knowledge to treat people suffering from diseases such as Alzheimer’s or conditions such as impaired motor function or limb paralysis.
He hopes to continue in the field after he completes his Ph.D., and perhaps develop solutions for disabled veterans.
“I would love to help people with the knowledge I gain,” he said.
Bryce is the third generation of his family to attend Tri-State and Trine. His grandfather and his uncle were both electrical engineering graduates, and his grandfather often talked about his time at Tri-State.
Once he visited, he immediately knew Trine was the right place for him.
“I loved being on a small campus where I could talk to the teachers. I knew the faculty at Trine would know me as a human instead of a number,” he said.
His attraction to biomedical engineering came as a result of having immediate family members who worked in medicine.
“I had a passion for the care they showed for their patients,” he said.
He had taken community college courses while he was in high school and transferred in 45 credit hours toward engineering at Trine, allowing him to complete the double major. The dual background helps with his Ph.D. program, since he said neurons work on the electrical engineering principles he studied.
The extensive laboratory experience he had as an undergraduate at Trine also has helped in his Ph.D. program, allowing him to skip some classes he normally would have had to take.
“I was able to say I have experience in areas such as flow cytometry and microscopy,” he said. “I also have experience in MATLAB and, thanks to my electrical engineering degree, other programming languages. That has made my Ph.D. a lot less daunting.”
Once he completes his Ph.D., he also has an interest in teaching.
“Dr. Watson, Dr. Gerschutz and Dr. Patton all gave me a passion for teaching,” he said. “The biomedical engineering faculty at Trine are truly some of the best professors that I’ve got to spend time with.”
His connection to Zimmer Biomet has not ended, however. His wife, Madison (Hatkevich), a 2018 biomedical engineering graduate from Trine, continues to work for the company as a quality engineer.