Engineering touches everything — from our cars to our smartphones, to how our roads work and to putting humans in space. But sometimes, it seems that products or designs aren’t completely thought through before they come to market. Ideas might seem really good on paper, but they don't always make sense for the reality of a person's lifestyle, culture or identity.
Dr. Kristina Ropella is a biomedical engineer and the Dean of the Opus College of Engineering at Marquette University. She works to ensure the current and next generations of engineers are thinking about innovative and inclusive ways to solve our problems.
“Technology is not used in isolation," Ropella says. "You have all these human factors, social factors, cultural factors, economic factors, that all work and affect whether or not your invention is going to be used or successful.”
She encourages Marquette students and faculty to expand their horizons and draw unlikely connections, which she says is the foundation for innovative ideas.
“Innovation really happens when you go out of that comfort zone and try new things you hadn’t thought about, and you all of a sudden see things differently, and you see that people have all kinds of different lenses on the world," Ropella says.