Engineer

  1. Sitting Down With Synectic’s 2017 Summer Intern

    When people think of summer they think of hot days by the pool sipping cold drinks or a fun day with friends and family at the beach, but here at Synectic, summer signifies a new intern. Synectic’s highly sought after paid internship program is an excellent opportunity for young engineers to get valuable hands-on experience that will help them throughout their careers. After careful review of the many applicants, we chose Heather Stratica to intern with us this summer. Originally from New York, Heather is a Biomedical Engineering major, with a concentration in Biomedical Instrumentation, at Worchester Polytechnic Institute in Massachusetts. I had a chance to speak with Heather about why she chose to intern at Synectic and what her internship experience was like.

     

    Thank you for taking the time to speak with me today. I know all the projects here have kept you very busy the last few weeks. Starting off, let’s talk a little about your background. What made you pursue a career in engineering?

    HS: From a young age I noticed that I was naturally good at math and science and I really enjoyed those topics in school. Because of this, as I grew older, I began to take part in STEM and particularly women focused STEM programs to get a better understanding of what my options where in those fields. It didn’t take long before I realized I wanted to become an engineer and not just to design new things, but to have the general mindset of an engineer and have the ‘problem solver’ mentality. This mentality is something that has been useful in every aspect in my life and I’m glad to have chosen a path that has impacted me so positively.

    Heather, you’re originally from New York and go to school in Massachusetts, out of all the places you could have interned with, why did you choose Synectic?

    HS: My concentration is in biomedical instrumentation and Synectic’s main focus for years has been medical devices. This is exactly what I want to work with after college so I reached out and learned about the internship program. I thought it would be a great way to learn about what medical device engineers do at a company like Synectic.

    We are so happy you were able to spend your summer working at Synectic. As you are preparing to go back to your final year in school, how has your time here advanced your knowledge? 

    HS: Most of my engineering education has come from a classroom setting, with some projects thrown in as we assess mechanical and biomedical designs. My time at Synectic allowed me to utilize what I learned in school, in a ‘real world’ setting. Since it’s a rather small company, I learned a lot about how a medical device company actually functions and not just from the engineer’s perspective. I also participated in pilot production of a major product allowing me to participate in the entire process from concept to production. To me, all of this is valuable knowledge that can’t be taught in a classroom, and I am glad Synectic gave me the opportunity to gain this experience.

    Heather, given your experience while working with us, would you consider coming back to work at Synectic full time?

    HS: Yes, I would love to come back to Synectic! It’s a great atmosphere to work in and the projects are plentiful and intriguing. You are required to think outside-the-box and challenge yourself daily. One of the best parts about working at Synectic is that you get to see the entire concept to production process. It’s great to see all your hard work pay off when the product goes to market.

    We would love to have you back at Synectic as well. One last question that I’m sure everyone reading this wants to know. Tell me something about yourself and what you like to do outside work and school?

    HS: I am a first generation American scholar, as both of my parents emigrated from Romania and worked very hard to get where they are today, instilling in me a very strong work ethic. I’m from Wappingers Falls, NY and came from a very small high school where I had about 30 people in my graduating class. I swam competitively for about 8 years and just retired that this spring, however, I teach swim lessons to share my passion with others.

     

  2. Synectic Celebrates a Lifetime of Achievements

     

    It is with mixed emotions that Synectic announces the retirement of Vinny Mata, one of our most distinguished senior product development engineers.

    I was able to sit down with Vinny one last time before he left. Here is what he had to say about his time at Synectic.

    Vinny, you have such a rich engineering background, what brought you to Synectic?

    VM: I was originally introduced to the previous owner of Synectic, Jeff Stein, through a mentor of mine. Over the years I worked with him on various projects, as a contractor, before I went into medical device design. Then, about 10 years ago, I was looking to leave the company I was work at and I asked Jeff if I could use him as a reference. Well, he did way more than offer me a good reference, he invited me to come work for him. I had really enjoyed, working with him in the past, so it seemed like the perfect opportunity. Synectic offered the fun, family-like environment that I was looking for.

    I’m so glad things worked out the way they did. You have worked on some pretty amazing projects throughout the years. What were some of your favorites while working here?

    VM: One of my favorite projects was working on the 5mm laparoscopic stapler from Just Right surgical. The client challenged us to push the project to the limits with design and materials. Our team rose to the challenge and we were able to change the technology, making a significant impact in pediatric laparoscopic technology.

     

    Vinny, you have definitely left your mark on this place and I can assure you, you will not be forgotten.  What advice can you give to an engineering that is just starting their career?

    VM: I recommend finding a company that nurtures and encourages you to master every aspect of product development from engineering to manufacturing. Seek out an environment where you can simultaneously contribute and expand your mind. You want driven colleagues who have a willing attitude to learn from each other and gladly share their knowledge. At Synectic the senior engineers spend time mentoring the junior engineers, encourage questions, and are willing to try a new approach. Even with all our years’ experience, we are still open to learning from the younger generation just entering the field. Synectic is also great for those looking to go into medical device development. You are not just working on one project in one specialty all the time. We have to learn all the anatomical systems and the projects change quite often. We learn everything from cardiovascular to tissue management and must know how to tie that into mechanical engineering.

     

    Thank you so much for taking the time to chat with me. We are really happy that you chose to work at Synectic and we are sorry to see you go. What do you plan to do with your time now that you are retiring?

    VM: I am an avid fisher and boater and I plan to do a lot more of both.

    Good luck Vinny in wherever life brings you to next!