Passion for Engineering Prompts Presidential Doctoral Research Fellow to Pursue Degrees in Three Countries

Pratima Labroo Utah State University

USU’s Presidential Doctoral Research Fellow (PDRF) Pratima Labroo developed an interest in biology and mathematics in high school and decided to pursue biological engineering, an area that integrates both fields of study, she said.

“I entered an engineering college to gain knowledge about the design of sophisticated and high performance systems,” said Labroo. “I studied hard and tried harder not to lose touch with biology that I love so much. In my second year, I discovered biological engineering and the more I read about it, the more confident I felt that this is where my future lies.”

Labroo hails from India. She graduated from SMVD University in India in 2009 with a bachelor’s degree in electronics and communication engineering. She worked on projects covering topics such as microprocessor and microcontroller programming, analog and digital circuit design, and sensor networks, all of which helped her understand electronics at hardware and software level.

She then attended the University of Dundee, UK in 2010 and completed her master’s degree in biomedical engineering. She said that she acquired a sound overall knowledge of engineering principles, preliminary designing, as well as the building and testing of mechanical system for healthcare and clinical applications.

Labroo said she first heard about USU when she saw a posting in the department of biological engineering while searching for a Ph.D. position in the biosensors area.

“At that time, the department was looking for people who are highly motivated, disciplined and have the ability to multitask,” she said. “While going through the details of the various research groups, I realized that the doctoral program at the department of biological engineering at Utah State University offered the flexibility, atmosphere and the research exposure that I was looking for.”

She said it is an honor to be selected as a PDRF and she is looking forward to the things that come with being a PDRF.

“This opportunity will allow me to be involved in research at a deeper level and gain experience in teaching and coaching undergraduate students, all of which will help me in my future career in academia,” she said.

The Presidential Doctoral Research Fellowships are awarded to incoming doctoral students. The fellowships are intended to attract elite graduate students to Utah State University, a vital part of building a leading research institution. To help enhance their on-campus success, fellows will be required to meet additional expectations, including grantsmanship and ethics training, pursuit of external support, research presentations, teaching requirements and mentoring opportunities.