Mechatronics Co-op Student Profile: Spencer Steel

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Mechatronics Co-op Student Profile: Spencer Steel

By: Career Services Assistant
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Spencer Steele is a well-rounded individual who has no doubt that his strong mechanical aptitude derived from restoring classic cars and fabricating Drydock systems for his family company, MRX Marine, has helped him get his last two co-op jobs. He also believes that it is important for MSE students to get involved and have interests outside of classes. Spencer has even started up a new team called SFU Formula SF-1, which is outlined later on in this edition and is a great way to get involved at SFU. Steele is a leading example of how MSE students can engage with their community, school, and industry.

Spencer Steele is an inspiring Mechatronics System of Engineering co-op student who is currently working for a local biomedical company called Kardium. 

Kardium specializes in developing cardiovascular surgical equipment used on patients with heart problems. Spencer’s role at Kardium is designing and testing Kardium's sternal closure device, the TORQ. The TORQ is a device that is used with stainless steel wire to perform rib cage closures after  open heart surgery.  Due to its unique design, the TORQ has been proven to be an efficient alternative to manual closures (closures performed by surgeon using surgical pliers) and in most cases reduce the recovery time and increase the lifespan of the patient undergoing cardiac surgery. The goal of TORQ is to make open heart surgery easier and faster for doctors, thus contributing to better surgeries and lower wait times at hospitals.

Spencer enjoys working at Kardium because of the friendly company atmosphere and the constant focus on team-building. He also enjoys working in the biomedical field because it combines both his passions in mechanical engineering and medicine. Steele believes the medical field is a fast paced industry and has a lot of promise in it for young engineers and medical professionals alike.

There are many investors putting their dollars into the biomedical industry simply due to its demand, which can only grow due to the world's climbing population. There is no doubt that MSE students can put their traditional mechanical and systems engineering into practice in the medical field. 

Before working at Kardium, Spencer completed his first co-op job at Surround Technologies Inc (STI) in Maple Ridge. He was recruited as a project manager for designing and managing modular building fabrication. STI has designed and fabricated thousands of enclosures that are located anywhere from Fort McMurray in Alberta, to Oyu Tolgoi in Mongolia . Over the last couple years STI has come out on top as one of the leading manufacturers of Modular electrical buildings as well as laboratories, crane cabs, and washrooms. Steele loved his job as a project manager because it was a huge challenge and responsibility. Project managers are generally recruited from business programs specializing in project management but it goes to show how flexible the Mechatronic Systems program can be when combined with experience in the industry. 

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Posted on June 13, 2012