NDSU grad students conduct research that makes life better

student measuring electric properties of a biological sample

NDSU graduate students conduct groundbreaking research under the guidance of faculty members who are experts in their fields. Students start building their own professional reputations as they create knowledge that makes life better.

Mary Pearson is one of those students. She’s combining her expertise in electronics with a strong desire to help keep people healthy. Pearson’s research focuses on a device that measures electric and magnetic properties of biological samples. The aim is to provide new ways of diagnosing illnesses and to aid in the creation of treatment plans.

Pearson is a trailblazer – the first doctoral student in NDSU’s biomedical engineering program. “I have always dreamed of getting a doctorate since I was a little kid,” she said. “So, to be first gives me so much excitement and joy. I would not be in this position without the endless support and encouragement from my family, adviser and colleagues.”

For her, moving forward in her studies and research was a natural progression. She earned her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in electrical and computer engineering at NDSU. She chose to stay at NDSU to seek her doctorate because of her adviser, renowned sensor and cardiovascular innovator Dan Ewert, emeritus professor of electrical and computer engineering.

“Dr. Ewert’s enthusiasm for teaching and learning is infectious,” Pearson said. “He whole-heartedly believes in his students and our abilities to achieve difficult goals that are beyond ourselves. He inspires us to use our talents to solve complex problems that will beneficially impact society. He has taught me the importance of never outgrowing the curiosity, wonder and excitement that comes with learning.

The collaborative, interdisciplinary doctoral program is offered jointly by NDSU's College of Engineering and the University of North Dakota’s College of Engineering and Mines and School of Medicine and Health Sciences.

“My life’s goal is to use biomedical engineering to bring hope to people and ease suffering in their lives,” said Pearson, who grew up in Ottertail, Minnesota. “I want to use every bit of my energy, mind power and talents to create biomedical devices and medical treatments that allow patients to experience the fullness and joys of life.”

Her experience at NDSU is making that happen. Start your NDSU experience by exploring master’s and doctoral degrees.

ndsu graduate student doing electronics testing