Be passionate, be curious, be willing to learn new things and I'm sure you will thrive

Dimitris Boufidis
Dimitris Boufidis
PhD student at the University of Pennsylvania
Dimitris Boufidis graduated with a BEng in Biomedical Engineering. During his time at the University, Dimitris was featured on BBC News for his volunteer work in the local community, presented at a TEDx Conference in Athens in front of over 700 people to inspire children on ‘how to become a hero’ and won the Chancellor’s Medal in recognition of his drive to inspire young children into STEM and his positive impact on the local community. Here he talks about his experience studying Biomedical Engineering at the University and what he’s gone on to do afterwards.

Why did you choose to study at Sheffield rather than another institution?

Sheffield has world-class facilities and I was able to learn from experts in their field. It has an excellent student community and is a wonderful location.

Did your time at Sheffield meet your expectations?

Yes, my expectations were exceeded  – which were very high to start with!

What were the best things about studying in the Department?

The approachability of faculty members. You could easily email or go to a professor's office to ask questions or discuss any issues or concerns.

What have you been doing since leaving the University?

Graduated in July and started studying towards my fully-funded PhD late-August at the University of Pennsylvania, an ivy-league institution and one of the oldest and top 10 best universities in the world, to study my fully-funded PhD. My project involves working on a tissue-engineered neural platform controlled and modulated by flexible bioelectronics that mimics the brain tissue.

What does a typical day entail?

On a typical day, I would first go to a class early in the morning, then go to the lab to do some experiments or read a couple of papers, then I might go for an hour to one of the hundreds of scientific seminars that are happening every week at Penn, have lunch with the invited guest speaker, then back to the lab to continue my experiments. In the evening, I might stop by one of the several events/workshops/activities that are happening on campus every day (and get some free food too!) before leaving the campus to go back home.

Where do you see yourself in the future?

Either in academia starting my own lab as a PI or starting my own company and working as an entrepreneur in a biotech start-up.

If you could give one piece of advice to current students or recent graduates, what would it be?

Say yes to new opportunities. Do it. Yes you can too! Oh, and never say "I don't have the time." The more you do, the more things you will realise can fit in your timetable! Say yes to new opportunities and make the most out of your time at the University. Be passionate, be curious, be willing to learn new things and I'm sure you will thrive in any work or further study environment!

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