Tim Susman wearing a black suit

Meet Tim Susman: B.S. in Biomedical Physics '18

Why did you decide to major in the physics and astronomy department?

My initial goal in majoring in biomedical physics was because I was initially interested in Med School, and I saw a major that allowed me to do all the things I liked in high school (math, biology, chemistry, and physics). There were also intriguing options within the AGRADE program and potentially getting a master's degree in biomedical engineering that piqued my interest. What I didn't expect were the people I would meet and the friends that I made in my classes and within the department that all contributed to my success.

What did you do after you graduated? Did you go to graduate school or get a job?

I qualified for the AGRADE program, so I was able to invest just one more year in grad school and graduate with an M.S. in Biomedical Engineering. (Both my undergraduate and graduate degrees were helpful in getting the jobs I've held since college.)

How did your major prepare you for your career or graduate school?

The basic principles of physics helped tremendously in my grad school experience. Having a strong understanding of physics and biology gave me what at times felt like a leg up on my fellow classmates in grad school. In my career, I now am a clinical engineer at a medical software company (MIM Software) that makes custom software solutions for radiation oncology and nuclear medicine departments in hospitals. My classes that focused on imaging and optics really have helped my effectiveness in my work environment

What was your favorite class?

Dr. Kelly's MATLAB (now Python) class gave me a passion for creating code and software and taught me how to elegantly integrate the software with Imaging systems in order to effectively solve problems

Who was your favorite professor?

Dr. Kelly's passion not only for physics but also for teaching is something that really stuck out to me. So much so that I was able to write my senior thesis while working in his lab!

Did you do undergraduate research? If so, what skills did it give you?

Undergraduate research is a tremendous tool that taught me a lot about problem-solving. Doing research often means that you're working on a problem that does not have a solution, and that comes with many hurdles and challenges. It was the first time in my educational career that I didn't know if there was an answer. Doing research taught me the necessary skills, determination, perseverance, and problem-solving to succeed further in life and especially in my career.

What was your favorite thing about the department?

The people. The professors were always helpful, and their offices were always open for questions. Though the classes were difficult it felt like everyone was willing to help you succeed.

What advice would you give to current students?

Continue to work hard even when the classes get tough. Ask questions – you can never ask enough questions. Go to office hours – form relationships with your classmates and professors because those will help you succeed in the short term and are also very helpful in the long term.