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Student blends science, business

Guruprasad Madhavan doesn’t just want to be an engineer. He wants to be a “renaissance engineer,” a wellrounded person with multiple intelligences who understands technical information, business and several cultures.

He envisions building a tripod for himself, one founded on science, business and law. To that end, he may study law – that is, after he completes his doctorate in bioengineering and his MBA.

“It completely diversifies my thought process,” Madhavan said of taking on the two degrees simultaneously.

He speaks with passion not only about engineering but also about building students’ competencies and understanding of the field. “People often don’t realize the value of society memberships,” said Madhavan, 26, a gregarious native of India. “It really takes you a lot of places and cultivates your ability to lead.”

That’s why Madhavan helped to start the Binghamton Bioengineers in 2004. It’s a student chapter of the

Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS), which is part of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Madhavan will receive a Divisional Professional Leadership Award from the IEEE-USA in March. It honors his leadership in EMBS, particularly at its international conferences, as well as his work as an associate editor for the organization’s student magazine, Potentials.

Madhavan works with Ken McLeod, chair of Binghamton’s Bioengineering Department, on research designed to reverse physiological complications of long-term low blood pressure. McLeod said he approves of Madhavan’s unusual dual degree approach because it will better prepare him to be an interdisciplinary entrepreneur. “Engineering and business are really intertwined,” McLeod said, noting that graduate students in his department all work on commercializable projects.

“Scientists study things; engineers build things,” McLeod said. “That’s what engineers do.”
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Last Updated: 10/14/08