Tinker, soldier, engineer: one veteran student’s journey from aviation to medical technology

“I like to tinker with things,” said Edwin Vasquez, a graduate of Colorado State University’s online master’s in biomedical engineering, when talking about his career path. But his skills go far beyond that.

Vasquez served in the U.S. Navy for more than a decade, troubleshooting generators for aircraft and portable turbines. After graduating with his master’s, he made the transition to biomedical engineering. Now he uses his propensity for “tinkering” to oversee machines that offer life-saving benefits to other veterans at the Veteran Affairs (VA) hospital in Orlando, Florida.

“I like to fix things, too,” he said. I like being able to struggle with something because at the end of it, once I find a solution, I have this immense satisfaction from being able to do that, not just for me, but for whoever I had to solve the problem for.”

Edwin Vasquez

Edwin Vasquez

A transdisciplinary focus

Biomedical engineering integrates the fields of biology and medicine with engineering solutions. It offers a transdisciplinary focus on improving health, fighting disease, and aiding people with disabilities. CSU’s online program helped Vasquez use his math and problem-solving background to shift into the medical field, and pursue his passion of serving those who served.

“I was in the first Gulf War in the early 90s, in Saudi Arabia,” he said. “Some of the guys I knew, they didn’t make it back, or lost something. It’s the passion I feel for these guys that I serve now, and I see them here every day, missing limbs… that’s who I work for now.”

Watch the video below to learn more about Vasquez, his work at the VA, and CSU’s online biomedical engineering master’s program.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mo53Qhcw7_s&w=560&h=315]


More about CSU Online

CSU’s online and distance programs give students around the nation and world access to the University’s renowned programs and faculty from wherever they are, on a schedule that fits their lives. Learn more about the online biomedical master’s degree and other online programs at online.colostate.edu.