Andre BezansonAndre Bezanson

I am a 4th year Ph.D. student in Biomedical Engineering.

Tell us about yourself

I grew up in a very rural part of Nova Scotia along the Bay of Fundy and then moved to Halifax for High School and University. In my free time I like to build remote controlled airplanes and experiment with various electronics projects like building little robots or work on my 3D printer.

What is your Mitacs project?

My Mitacs project was to take a technique I had developed in the lab and to incorporate it into a commercial ultrasound system. This technique, which involved a cheap way of scanning an ultrasound probe back and forth, allows for a dramatic reduction in the overall cost of high resolution ultrasound machines.

I really enjoy the process of building things and figuring out how to make a project work.
 

What have you enjoyed the most about your Mitacs project?

I really enjoy the process of building things and figuring out how to make a project work. This project allowed me to take an idea and to incorporate it into a device that is now a commercial product. I find it really exciting to think that something I built is now part of a commercial product.

What have you found most challenging about your Mitacs project?

The most challenging aspect of the work was completing all the testing required to prove that the idea would actually work in the real world. It involved many late nights and broken devices as I would test things to the point of failure. But at the end of it all we had a working device and a good understanding of what it could and could not handle.

How has your Mitacs experience influenced your career path?

The experience I gained doing research in a commercial setting is a great asset to me as I start to plan for my future career. By allowing me to get some experience in a company I was able to get an understanding of what it means to work in a commercial setting and find out that it is something that I greatly enjoy.

How has your Mitacs project impacted the world?

By reducing the cost of these high resolution ultrasound machines - for use in imaging small animals in the development of medical treatments we have brought the cost of these units down to the point where they can be afforded by standard research groups. This allows the researchers to conduct their studies on just a couple animals instead of large populations that they would otherwise have to kill and dissect to visualize the pathology.

What do you predict will be the next big breakthrough in your field of research?

The next big step in this technology will be the incorporation of the high functioning yet low cost and compact technology found in cell phones into the scanning system. This would allow for a further reduction in cost and size so that the technology can be used for new applications and by more people.

I figured out early on that I enjoyed building things so I figured that I'd try to work towards developing the skills I need to be able to get to the point where I can get paid to spend my time building really neat things that will effect the world.
 

Who supports your Mitacs research?

My MITACs research was supported by Mitacs, IRAP, Daxsonics Inc and Dalhousie University. I am especially thankful to the support I got through the supervision and mentoring I received from the staff at Daxsonics Inc who were able to help me take the technology to the next level.

What motivates you to do research?

My motivation is that I really want a career that I enjoy. I figured out early on that I enjoyed building things so I figured that I'd try to work towards developing the skills I need to be able to get to the point where I can get paid to spend my time building really neat things that will effect the world.

Mitacs

Mitacs is a national, not-for-profit organization that has designed and delivered research and training programs in Canada for 15 years. Working with 60 universities, more than 6,000 companies, and both federal and provincial governments, we build partnerships that support industrial and social innovation in Canada.


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