Student’s Education in Ag Engineering Leads to Career in Designing Prosthetic Limbs

Outstanding Student Spotlight Series: A Q&A with Logan Kostroun

Major: Biological and Agricultural Engineering
Graduation: May 2014
Hometown: Cameron, TX

On his time at Texas A&M…

How have your interests evolved during your time at Texas A&M? 
Logan_webWhen I first started at Texas A&M, I wanted to pursue a career as an Agricultural Engineer, but I quickly took a keen interest in medicine. Medicine, in my opinion, is the highest level of service to those which cannot help themselves. This motivated me to take additional pre-medical coursework and get involved with student organizations, particularly the Texas A&M Pre-Medical Society, to expand my knowledge of healthcare and gain a further appreciation for the human condition.

While in the society I had the opportunity to volunteer for many great causes, including the Boys and Girls Club, Phoebe’s Home Women Shelter, St. Joseph Manor Nursing Home, Habitat for Humanity, and Special Olympics. In addition to volunteering opportunities within the Pre-Medical Society, I also spent a significant amount of time (close to 200 hours) volunteering in the community at Texas A&M Physician’s Clinic in Bryan.

In fact, it was my love for volunteering in the society that compelled me to serve the officer position of Community Service Chair and lead the organization to at least three volunteering events each week. In addition, I served as the Director of Fundraising for the Philanthropy Committee to benefit the Alzheimer’s Association.

I also served on the COALS Student Council on the Liaison to the Dean Committee. This was a great experience to be able to meet with Dean of the College to discuss various topics, serve as ambassador at University functions, assist in organizing the College career fair, and network with faculty and other young professionals.

What did you enjoy the most about studying biological and agricultural engineering? 
One of the best things about the Biological & Agricultural Engineering Department at Texas A&M is the close-knit feeling and exceptional advising staff. With only 36 students in my graduating class this May, it was easy throughout my undergraduate career to create meaningful relationships and collaborate with classmates and faculty members. I consider this to be one of the major advantages of the department in comparison to larger engineering majors.

I am absolutely thrilled to be able to one day design prosthetic devices, as they not only provide solutions for a better quality of life, but too provide the means to express one’s identity in an individualistic manner.

On his future….

What made you decide to go into engineering of prosthetic limbs? 
Coming from a small rural town, I assumed that having a knack for math and an interest in life sciences provided a natural career fit as a biological and agricultural engineer. However as many students tend to do as they get out on their own in college, I began developing my own set of interests, in particular a keen passion for medicine.

I began taking Pre-Medical classes in addition to my engineering degree, which I greatly enjoyed. After realizing I still had a strong passion for engineering, I came across an inspiring story about a double amputee professor at MIT named Hugh Herr, who is a prosthesis engineer himself.

I was tremendously moved by his story and inspired to the extent that a light bulb went off as to what all my experiences had led me to do; I decided to create a marriage between my fascination with engineering technology and healthcare by designing the next generation of sophisticated prosthetic limbs to improve the quality of life for patients.

You are leaving College Station for Rochester – Can you tell us what you will be doing with Mayo Graduate School?
I have taken an internship in the Motion Analysis Laboratory at the Mayo Graduate School in Rochester, Minnesota. The focus of the lab is providing state-of-the-art treatment planning for patients with movement difficulties, aids in documenting results of the therapeutic procedures and conducts research on the future clinical applications of human movement analysis.

It is my intent to apply to the Ph.D. program at Mayo and to have a career that will strive to minimize the interface between man and machine, and to ultimately make handicaps a function not of physical impairment, but rather lack of suitable engineering design.

What do you look forward to the most in your career?
I am absolutely thrilled to be able to one day design prosthetic devices, as they not only provide solutions for a better quality of life, but too provide the means to express one’s identity in an individualistic manner. I feel that applications such as these are the epitome of great engineering— that is, solutions that better the quality of life of mankind.

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