Faces of BME – Amy Huang

Meet Amy Huang: a fourth-year undergraduate student majoring in biomedical engineering and currently undertaking her thesis work in Professor Cristina Amon’s lab. Amy’s journey into engineering was sparked by her passion for hands-on projects and her innate ability to turn abstract concepts into real-world solutions. Excelling in her academic pursuits, Amy was one of the recipients of the University of Toronto Student Leadership Award in 2024. In her spare time, Amy has been deeply involved in the Club for Undergraduate Biomedical Engineering (CUBE) and has served as its co-president, fostering unity and providing invaluable opportunities for fellow students.

Can you tell me a bit about yourself? What inspired you to pursue a degree in engineering? 

My name is Amy Huang, a 4th year undergraduate student majors in biomedical engineering and also a thesis student at Professor Cristina Amon’s lab (https://atoms.mie.utoronto.ca/ ). I chose to pursue engineering because I love hands-on projects, and I am always eager to translate conceptual ideas into tangible real-world solutions. Back in high school, my enthusiasm for engineering stems from a diverse array of STEM experiences that I have encountered. From volunteering at the Ontario Science Center to co-leading my school’s Science Olympiads team, and even co-founding an energy company that received $20,000 seed capital, I have been inspired by the intersection of science, hands-on creativity, and innovative thinking that led me to engineering. 

Biomedical engineering is all about helping others, and I want to make a positive impact on others through my work. BME’s interdisciplinary nature also allows for seamless integration with other engineering disciplines, fostering collaborative environments that I thrive in. The biomedical engineering major within the Engineering Science program provides a great platform for me to pursue my research interests and academic goals, offering avenues such as thesis projects, capstone experiences, and exchange programs that allowed me to explore a wide range of opportunities and projects. This program is also being organized and attended by an amazing group of faculties and students, many of which are my life-long mentors and I get inspire by them every day. 

Photo credit: Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES) 2023

You are a recipient of the University of Toronto Student Leadership Awards (UTSLA) this year, what does winning this award mean to you?

Receiving the UTSLA is not only a moment of personal pride but also a humbling reminder for me of the impact that leadership can have on shaping a positive experience for my fellow students. I have faced many challenges during my first and second years, coupled with periods of imposter syndrome, made those times particularly arduous. However, having the resilience and courage to pull through those trials has been immensely rewarding: it ultimately led me to discover my niche within the field of BME where I can thrive, grow, and continuously expand my knowledge and skills. This award holds deep personal significance as it reflects the values I hold – resilience, commitment, and a desire for making an impact to the community. It reaffirms my belief in the power of leadership to effect meaningful change and inspires me to continue striving for excellence in everything I do. 

Dean Christopher Yip (left) presenting the UTSLA award to Amy Huang (right). Photo credit: University of Toronto Engineering.

What kind of extracurricular activities are you involved in? What can you tell me about CUBE? 

I have been involved with the Club for Undergraduate Biomedical Engineering (CUBE) from 2021 to 2024. Despite the University of Toronto’s Engineering Science BME program being relatively small, students from various disciplines within and outside the engineering faculty share a keen interest in biomedical engineering. Serving as co-president this year, my aim has been to cultivate unity within this community by providing CUBE members with diverse learning, networking, and hands-on opportunities. Additionally, I have served as an Engineering Science Ambassador since 2022, enabling me to share my positive experiences in U of T’s BME program with prospective students, parents, and alumni.

What else do you have going on in your life?

I am pursuing a minor in classical civilization through the Department of Classics, and often I find myself as the sole engineering student in the class. Choosing to pursue a minor in Classics as an engineering student allows me to explore diverse perspectives and embrace interdisciplinary learning. The duality of these majors enriches my educational experience, and most importantly, empowers me to approach challenges with a holistic perspective and a deeper appreciation for the human experience.