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Student Spotlight

Elene Nakas 

Senior, Bioengineering with a minor in Technology Entrepreneurship

Lily SooklalActivities:

  •  Vice President of Professional Affairs of Biomedical Engineering Society (2017-2018), Vice President of Communications (2016-2017)
  •  President of Greek Heritage Society (2017-2018), Vice President (Fall 2016)
  • Undergraduate Research in Bioinspired Advanced Manufacturing Lab
 “Investigation of Direct Laser Writing on Topotaxis Studies” poster accepted to MicroTAS 2017 conference
  • Tau Beta Pi – National Engineering Honors Society
  • Alpha Eta Mu Beta – National Bioengineering Honors Society
  • Women in Engineering Student Advisory Board Member
  • BIOE221 Peer Facilitator
  •   ODK National Leadership Honor Society
  • Study Abroad: Australia (Winter 2016), Italy (Winter 2018)
  •   A. James Clark School of Engineering RISE Leadership Academy
  •  Alpha Omega Epsilon
  • Hinman CEO’s Living and Learning Program
  • Honors Entrepreneurship and Innovation Program

Career Goals and Ambitions

I have recently accepted an offer to work for Deloitte next year as a Federal Business Technology Analyst. I hope to work on healthcare focused projects to uncover important insights using data analysis and project management skills. I also hope to get involved in internationally focused projects, as I love traveling and learning about new cultures. In the future I plan to return to graduate school to pursue either an MBA or a Master’s in Biotechnology/Bioinformatics.


Summer 2016

I was a teaching assistant for the Explore Engineering camp that WIE hosts for high school junior and senior girls who are interested in studying engineering. As Teaching Assistant, my responsibilities included organizing and leading the educational hands on activities that expose the campers to different disciplines of engineering, and facilitating an open, engaging learning environment for campers. I loved being able to share my passion for engineering at UMD with the campers!

Fall 2016-Present

For the past two years I have been working in Dr. Sochol’s Bioinspired Advanced Manufacturing lab with a group of five other undergraduate students. We are investigating topotaxis behaviors of vascular endothelial cells on a nanopost array with a continuous gradient of inter-post spacing extending across a ‘half pipe’-like Nanoscribe printed structure. We use methods including SEM imaging and fluorescence microscopy to study the structures. We quantified the relationship between theoretical and experimental dimensions including inter-post spacing and mean post major axis length. We were successfully accepted to present a poster at the  2017 MicroTAS conference in October 2017.

Summer 2017

I worked as a Federal Business Technology Analyst Summer Scholar at Deloitte Consulting in Arlington, VA. I evaluated the technical capabilities and business readiness of project management tools, including SharePoint, IBM BPM and ServiceNow, to inform decisions about future deployment scenarios for high priority clients. My comprehensive review included exhaustive technical analysis of features, competitive benchmarking, and interviews with stakeholders using the tools in secure, mission-critical contexts. In addition to my project work, I got the  opportunity to participate in a D2i case competition, designing a change management solution for a startup in Africa. I also had the opportunity to attend training workshops on programs such as SQL, IBM BPM and process robotics, in addition to fun networking events for interns.

Favorite Aspect of Being an Engineer in the Clark School:

I love the amount of opportunities for both support and self-enrichment offered in the Clark school. I have been amazed by the open, supportive network of engineers in my classes and student organizations. I am grateful for the time and effort that engineering professors and TA’s invest in their students, as I wouldn’t have made it through undergrad without office hours. I also love that there are so many opportunities in the Clark School for personal growth. Through the Clark school I have been able to complete research, organize professional events for Bioengineering students, and even travel to Australia! My undergraduate experience at the Clark school was so rich and I wouldn’t have it any other way!