About the companies:
Clarus Medical and Laser Peripherals: two Plymouth- based medical device manufactures under the same roof. Apart from their shared office and lab space, there are a few other things these two companies have in common. To start, they both produce fiber-based technology, Clarus Medical with its fiber-optic digital micro-endoscopes and Laser Peripherals with its surgical laser fibers. To ensure they can be as productive as possible, both companies also hire medical device engineering interns through the SciTech Internship program.
“SciTech has allowed us to have interns,” said Mark Brown, a regulatory and quality assurance manager at Clarus Medical. “It’s really streamlined our hiring process.”
For several years the companies have found bright, young talent through the SciTech program. Clarus Medical brought on Computer Engineering Major Md Ali Asif while Laser Peripherals hired Biomedical Engineering Major Olivia Laux.
Both Clarus Medical and Laser Peripherals had specific projects their interns were brought on to address. Laser Peripherals is working on a new medical product, currently under pre-market approval, designed to aid in cancer detection. Laux’s job involved troubleshooting the product, finding raw materials, and writing processes.
Working on a medical device that will be used to treat and help people is “kind of unbelievable,” Laux said. “This summer, I’ve actually been applying the information I learned in class. And it’s kinda crazy to think that I’m working on a product that will be used in the field to help cancer patients and save lives. That’s what I went into this field for.”
Clarus is developing a new product as well, one that’s designed to help visually inspect other medical devices for cleanliness. At the end of the device is a digital camera that’s just under two millimeters in diameter.
Asif was brought in to troubleshoot some electronic issues encountered during the devices’ first launch. He helped modify the design, tested the design implementation and documented the protocols involved.
“Asif interviewed for a different position but was better qualified for the electrical aspect of it,” Brown said, “which at the time we weren’t even looking to fill, he just kinda fell in our lap and it’s been a perfect fit.”
About the interns:
Olivia Laux, a Prior Lake native, is studying biomedical engineering at the University of Iowa. Wanting to help people, she found that biomedical engineering held the perfect balance, allowing her to work in the medical field while still being able to design, create and improve new or existing devices.
“I love knowing that one day I may be able to help people live their lives either with greater ease or simply continuing to live,” Laux said.
Md Ali Asif is a senior at St. Cloud State University studying computer engineering.
“Every part of my internship was memorable,” he said. “Everyone here was really nice. When you meet nice people, you remember them all your life. I’ve really enjoyed my time here.”
Small Minnesota companies receive up to $2,500 to help pay a STEM intern. At least 350 wage matches are available through August 2019.