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Student Spotlight

Lily Sooklal

Senior, Bioengineering

Lily SooklalActivities

  • Startup Shell: I have been a director of the Startup Shell for the past two years. I am proud to have mentored over twenty tech startups and to have organized events with companies such as Oculus VR, Khosla Ventures, Yahoo, and Y Combinator. When I’m not in class, my friends know exactly where to find me: at Startup Shell’s co-working space.
  • Technica: I am a founding member of Technica, the first all-ladies hackathon at UMD. I was the director of sponsorship for our first hackathon this past fall and raised over $75,000 in less than six months to fund this amazing event. Technica was an amazing success with 400 ladies from all over the country hacking at Ritchie Coliseum and I’ll be back next year to make the event even bigger.
  • Bitcamp: I have gone to Bitcamp for the past two years and this year, I volunteered to become an organizer. I am currently organizing the mentorship and workshops for this year’s hackathon.
  • Biomedical Engineering Society: I have been a member of BMES for the past 3 years and was treasurer two years ago and vice president last year. It was an honor to help regrow the organization and mentor younger BioE students.
  • University Honors
  • Banneker Key Scholar

Career Goals and Ambitions

It’s impossible to know exactly what I will be doing in the future. Many of my mentors, friends, and contacts I have in industry have all told me that they started with a certain degree or background but their current job and trajectory has little to do with that start. I will be working as an engineer straight out of college after I graduate this year and I hope to be doing technical work in the field of Systems Engineering for at least five or so years before deciding my next steps. I could definitely see an MBA and a strategy-related business role in my future but I never want to rule out the possibility of becoming a technical leader in my field. My lifelong goal is to create a medical technology that directly impacts and improves the health of many people. 


Summer 2015

I worked at Becton Dickinson Diagnostic Systems as a Systems Engineering R&D Intern. I closed a CAPA investigation phase in 7 days by finding the root cause of product errors and coordinated efforts between engineering, operations, marketing, and assay teams to help diagnose and a four-month, $2 million production failure. I designed and tested changes to the BD Max to improve robustness from 20% to 95%

Summer 2014  

I worked at Becton Dickinson Diagnostic Systems as a Process Intern in the Office of Program Management. I streamlined project management, global launch, and acquisition processes by 40%. I developed a now-standard fault isolation process within product development and I diagrammed subsystem workflows and fault trees to create FMEAs 15% more quickly.

Fall 2012- Spring 2015

I worked as a Bioengineering Researcher at the Immune and Autoimmune Engineering Laboratory in the Fischell Department of Bioengineering. I designed biological films for a microfluidic medical device that rapidly images breast diagnosis. I gained experience in diagnostic research from working with clinical collaborators. I am on a patent for these biological films and am an author of a paper in the journal Oncotarget as a result of this study. 

Favorite Aspect of Being an Engineer in the Clark School

There are some incredible resources that the Clark School provides such as the Terrapin Works system including the Rapid Prototyping Lab and the Makerbot Center. These labs gave me access to machines and training in manufacturing that will be invaluable to me as an engineer in industry. I hope to see more resources that target specific engineering industry skills for undergraduate students in the future at the Clark School!


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