Spotlight on Engineering Alumni: Nathan Alves

untitledName: Nathan Alves

Education (UR and additional):

University of Rochester, BS in Biomedical Engineering, Tissue Engineering Concentration, 2007; MS in Biomedical Engineering, 2008

University of Notre Dame, MS in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering, 2011

University of Notre Dame, PhD in Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering

Indiana University School of Medicine, Post doctoral fellowship

Current city/state of residence:  South Bend, Indiana

Occupation:  PhD Candidate

Current job title: Graduate Student

Current employer: University of Notre Dame
Family: Married


Why did you choose to attend the University of Rochester?

I chose to attend the University of Rochester because it was well known for being a research institution and its ties to the area hospitals; as well as the medical school made it a strong place to study Biomedical Engineering.  I also liked the way the university utilized the cluster system for grouping classes to fulfill requirements which also allowed students to take courses in any field of study.

When and how did you choose your major(s)?

I knew my major prior to going to the University of Rochester and was able to start right out on completing my course work.  Biomedical Engineering is a rapidly growing field and due to its cross discipline nature the requirements can be extensive and starting early is important. Biomedical Engineering combined all of the things I most enjoyed into a single major: science, medicine and engineering and it also facilitated completion of the pre-med requirements.

What activities were you involved in as a student and what did you gain from them?

Studying abroad in Melbourne Australia was arguably one of the best opportunities that I was able to take advantage of while at the University of Rochester.  While abroad I continued to take classes, work in a biomolecular engineering lab and travel to various places such as: Bali, New Zealand, and Tasmania.  The overall experience was invaluable.

What resources did you use on campus that you recommend current students use?

The faculty.  Don’t underestimate how important it is to communicate with your professors and make connections that you can call upon in the future.

What did you do immediately after graduation? How did you decide to take that path?

I went straight into graduate school after graduation to continue my studies and work towards a PhD.  In some instances taking some time off between graduate school and undergrad can be important but I felt I had a clear direction and that a PhD was necessary.

Where would you like to be in five years?

In five years I would like to have started or be in the process of starting a technology based start-up company or multidisciplinary engineering consulting firm.  I have always been interested in entrepreneurship and am always looking for opportunities.

What advice do you have for current Hajim School students about their time on campus, graduate study, or the first few years after college?

Don’t get lost in trying to rush through everything and finish your studies the fastest.  Take advantage of and enjoy the unique opportunities that Rochester has to offer and always keep an open mind to taking a class or participating in a program that may be outside of your main program of study.