Sandy Lum

Can you tell us a little bit about the kind of work that you do?

As the Rehabilitation Technology Services Leader for Sunny Hill Health Centre, I am accountable for the efficient and effective day-to-day delivery of rehabilitation technology services for children with complex developmental needs. My team of technical staff design, develop, fabricate, adapt, and evaluate rehabilitation equipment for children who have unique positioning and mobility needs. I’m responsible for the technical direction of the group as we service children and conduct R&D in the field of rehabilitation engineering. I’m also involved in supporting the adoption of clinical technology around the hospital to improve the services we provide for families.

What have been the turning points and milestones in your career?

I switched from the amusement/water park design industry into healthcare technology – it was a complete industry change I had to adapt to, but I have not looked back since! I found that my values changed as I got more work experience and better understood what type of work truly resonated with me.

What is a fact about your work that people might find surprising?

A lot of what you specifically learn in school isn’t used in work. I haven’t integrated by parts nor calculated shear flow ever outside of school. However the working habits and way of thinking I developed while obtaining my degree has absolutely been beneficial to me. This is never surprising to alumni but always surprising to young students!

What do you consider your greatest achievement in life so far (personal, professional, or both)?

I like to think of myself as young enough to not answer such a question!

What was your favourite class at UBC, and why?

I loved Mech 423, taught by Dr. Hongshen Ma, where we got great project experience designing mechatronics products. It was a lot of effort, but you learn a ton and can get creative by getting your hands dirty with a project you get to define the scope of yourself.

I also audited MECH 520 Control Sensors and Actuators when it was taught by Dan Gelbart – I would highly recommend engineers to take advantage of any learning opportunity from him!

What do you feel are three habits necessary for highly successful engineers?

Spend time wisely by prioritizing your work, be cognizant of your personal and professional goals, regularly seek guidance from a mentor

What was your favourite thing to do on campus as a UBC student?

Some of my best memories were from attending events like concerts held on campus. They’re not at all academic but definitely are great experiences with great people!

What are the top three things that you would recommend current engineering students do before they graduate?

Do a co-op or semester abroad, join an extra-curricular club or student team, and very importantly learn how to manage your personal finances!