Engineering science graduand Rasha Zuluf landed a job as a product engineer a few days after completing her finals. She hopes to one day combine her technical skills and business knowledge to establish her own medical device company.

Engineering science granduand pursues dream career with diverse skills, hands-on learning

June 05, 2017

Engineering science graduand Rasha Zuluf wears many hats. Biomedical engineer. Software developer. Sales whizz. Entrepreneur. And she’s only getting started.

Just a few days after completing her finals last December, Zuluf landed a job as a product engineer with Xorosoft Inc., showcasing software to business executives from major companies, including Fedex, London Drugs and McKesson.

“I always want to better myself and build a well-rounded skillset,” says Zuluf, who receives an honours degree in biomedical engineering.

“A lot of my professors were entrepreneurs, and they always taught us that having a balance of skills helps you stand out in the technical industry.”

Working under the supervision of professors Faisal Beg and Marinko Sarunic, Zuluf helped develop an optical imaging system for her honours thesis.

The system is currently being used to screen patients for early signs of glaucoma at Vancouver General Hospital’s Eye Care Centre.

She also developed a portable blood type tester for her team project in first-year, and an emergency pulse oximeter to measure heart rate and oxygen levels for her final capstone team project.

Using her talents to help others is a top priority for Zuluf, who lost her mother to cancer when she was just 12 years old. This tragedy fuelled her drive to work in the medical field, and help other families going through a similar experience.

“At first I wanted to be a doctor, but, over time, I realized my real passion was problem-solving,” says Zuluf, whose father is also an engineer.

“So when I learned about biomedical engineering, where I could apply my technical skills to improve people’s quality of life, everything fell into place.” 

At SFU, she saw cutting-edge medical technology in action, including The da Vinci Robotic Surgical System (ENSC 370, taught by professor Andrew Rawicz), and witnessed a live bronchoscopy of a cancer patient at the B.C. Cancer Agency (ENSC 460, taught by professor Pierre Lane).

“We were taught the principles and design of optical imaging and spectroscopy for early detection of cancer,” says Zuluf.

“At SFU, it’s not just about theory. We learn to customize the technology for the user’s needs – seeing this technology working in the field gives us a better understanding of its function and design.”

With her characteristic drive and motivation, Zuluf hopes to one day combine her technical skills and business knowledge to achieve her ultimate dream: establishing her own medical device company.

Along the way, she hopes to inspire other young women in engineering wishing to follow a similar pathway.

“My advice is to be fearless and never give up,” says Zuluf.

“All my professors always believed in me and always encouraged me. I want to pass that onto other women, and encourage them to break the stereotypes of engineering. There are no boundaries.”