Tori Kocsis is Prepared for Anything, From Outer Space to Medical School

From working on NASA projects and designing N95 masks to exploring new ways to recycle plastic, students in Duquesne's Biomedical Engineering (BME) program expand their horizons with a variety of hands-on experiences to help solve important, technical problems.

A photo of Tori Kocsis

Tori Kocsis, a graduate BME student, said the program has given her a significant advantage as she applies to medical schools.

"The program prepares you so well to understand the human body, not only from a biology standpoint, but from a physics and math perspective as well," said Kocsis, who earned her Bachelor of Science degree from Duquesne and competes on the University's Division l Cross Country team. "And our professors are awesome. They work alongside you and help you whenever you need it."

Duquesne's BME program further cemented its excellent reputation as a cutting-edge leader in training and educating students with ABET accreditation.

The Biomedical Engineering Bachelor of Science program has been accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, the global accreditor of college and university programs in applied and natural science, computing, engineering, and engineering technology. ABET accreditation assures that programs meet standards to produce graduates ready to enter critical technical fields that are leading the way in innovation and emerging technologies, while anticipating the welfare and safety needs of the public.

"The ABET accreditation is a huge accomplishment," said Kocsis, who met with the accreditors as an undergraduate student. "Both employers and graduate programs are looking for students from accredited schools - it confirms the quality of our program."

ABET or a similar accreditation is a requirement to receive licensure in most states. A non-profit, non-governmental organization, ABET currently accredits more than 4,300 programs at 846 colleges and universities in 41 countries and areas.

Kocsis, a Johnstown, Pennsylvania native, worked with a team of students in a design competition to create a reusable N95 mask. She has also been a key player on various NASA competition projects, including creating a zip-tie cutter that can be used to fix payloads, like satellites, outside the International Space Station. Kocsis and a team of students traveled to the Johnson Space Center in Houston to present the product.

Kocsis said the BME's research-focused curriculum set the tone for her academic career.

"The school provided many opportunities to conduct research my freshman year," she said. "Working with my professors and fellow students in our labs not only better prepared me for my academic career, but for my long-term future as well."