This episode was sponsored by Smith+Nephew.
Join us as we sit down with three leaders from Smith+Nephew to discuss their career journeys, their insights in the medical technology field, and the company’s mentorship programs that are supporting women in STEM.
Hear insights from Kalavati Bhashyam, Senior Director of Hardware Engineering, Robotics and Enabling Technologies; Angela Mejia, Senior Quality Director of Arthroscopic Enabling Technologies; and Dr. Runi Brownhill, Director of Strategic Sciences, Wound Management R&D.
Speaker: Kalavati Bhashyam
Kala is the Senior Director for Hardware Engineering at Smith and Nephew Robotics and leads a diverse team of mechanical, electrical, embedded software and test engineers. She is especially passionate about encouraging and mentoring women in the organization.
Previously, she was the Vice President of Product Development at a medical device startup, Harmonic Bionics, that was working to commercialize a robotic exoskeleton for stroke rehabilitation. She developed and led the electrical, embedded software and software applications team, and developed the quality systems, design assurance, and regulatory framework for the organization, in addition to authoring and leading clinical studies.
She is passionate about developing and accelerating time to market of breakthrough research in applications of robotics to medicine. Kala’s experience spans over 15 years in the medical device industry at companies such as Stryker, Siemens and 3M. She’s worked on a variety of technologies such as robotics, orthopedic power tools, OR equipment, and NPWT (Negative Pressure Wound Therapy).
She holds a bachelor’s degree in electronics and communication engineering from National Institute of Technology, Karnataka (India); a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from Duke University, and a master’s degree in computer science with a focus on interactive intelligence from Georgia Institute of Technology.
Speaker: Angela Mejia
Angela Mejia is the Senior Quality Director of Arthroscopic Enabling Technologies at Smith+Nephew.
After several years of working in the semiconductor industry, Angela sought a career in medical devices. She began her 15+ year career with Smith+Nephew when she joined the medical device company ArthroCare Corporation as a process development engineer.
To broaden her experience, she moved into a Quality Engineering role where she authored and executed design verification and design validation test protocols. Angela led FMEAs, proctored surgeon usability studies, investigated customer product complaints, and contributed to FDA submission responses.
Angela joined Smith + Nephew through an acquisition in 2012 and has held roles of increasing responsibility in Quality, transitioning from individual contributor to Senior Director. She has managed Incoming Quality Inspection, Design Quality Engineering, and Quality Systems teams.
Angela currently serves as the EU MDR Person Responsible for Regulatory Compliance for products legally manufactured by the Smith+Nephew Austin facility, fulfills the FDA-required role of Quality Management Representative, and leads the new product development and sustaining Design Quality Engineering teams for S+N’s Arthroscopic Enabling Technology division as well as the Quality Systems team for the company’s Austin, Texas site.
Angela graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Engineering, cum laude.
Speaker: Runi Brownhill, Ph.D.
Dr. Runi Brownhill is the Director of Strategic Sciences, Smith+Nephew Wound Management R&D and manages a team of scientists that specialize in wound biology and the interventions needed to improve patient outcomes.
She holds a First-Class BSc Honours Degree in Biological & Medicinal Chemistry and a Ph.D. in Pharmacology with training completed as a post-doctoral scientist at Parke Davis Neuroscience Research Centre and Cambridge University.
Her previous experiences include working as a project scientist at Cambridge Drug Discovery and as a Technical Consultant at Oakland Innovation and The Technology Partnership.
Runi has 15 years of experience at Smith+Nephew holding several positions across R&D, Business Development, Marketing and Business Intelligence.
Her recent achievements include developing the mechanism of action data package behind the Smith+Nephew flagship product PICO that explains how the therapy delivers outcomes. Runi has been honored as a Smith+Nephew TEK Fellow, Class of 2022, which recognizes Technical Excellence and Knowledge.
Host: Sam East
Sam East is a media personality based in Toronto, Canada.
You can hear her on “Sam & Dames” in the afternoon from 3-7PM on Toronto’s #1 Hit Music Station, 99.9 Virgin Radio, and with the iHeartRadio Canada app.
When she’s not in studio, she might be hosting live events, hosting and producing the podcast “Lessons to My Younger Self,” or sharing a video that leads to a personal invite from Oprah Winfrey.
Sam is also a certified mindfulness meditation teacher and is thrilled to be able to share tools to help cultivate presence, peace, and self-awareness.