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Former Engineering Student Returns to Recruit NECC Students

Submitted by on April 8, 2015 – 6:07 pm
Tom Faulkner newsroom

NECC alumnus Thomas Faulkner, who works for ConforMIS, a biomedical company in Bedford, MA, spoke to engineering science students about the engineering industry.

NECC Engineering alumnus Tom Faulkner helps to create knees. He thinks current NECC engineering students could too.   

Faulkner, a hiring engineer with ConforMIS, Inc., a biomedical company in Bedford, MA, that designs and manufactures customized knee implants, recently gave a lively Power Point presentation to the students in Engineering Science Professor Richard Muka’s class in the Hartleb Technology Center on the Haverhill campus.

The presentation was designed to be equal parts informational and inspirational, as well as a recruitment visit. Faulkner graduated in 1998 with associate degree in engineering science. He transferred to UMass Lowell, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering.

He worked for a number of companies before joining ConforMIS six years ago. It is the only company in the world to design and manufacture patient specific implants and instrumentation. Using iFit image-to-implant technology the patient’s CT scan is used to create a 3D model of the knee implant as well as the biodegradable instruments used in the surgery.

It takes orthopedic surgeons less than an hour to complete a new replacement using a ConforMIS knee says Faulkner. It takes the 3D printer just 24 hours to manufacture the surgical tools. ConforMIS, using 16, 3D printers, creates several custom implants a day, he says.

Since knees are the highest selling joint replacement, ConforMIS is positioned to continue to grow, he says. The company already employs 71 designers. He said the industry, if not the company, needs engineers with associate degrees in engineering science who have experience with the Solidworks software. The company is looking for individuals who can “work and function in a team environment while exhibiting leadership skills”.

One NECC Engineering Science student Michael Loehr, is already a paid intern with ConforMIS.

“This is a great opportunity for engineering students to get their foot in the door of a biomedical company,” he told the 30 something students attending class. “We want to hire folks with entry level skills and teach them the ropes.”

Northern Essex offers an associate degree in Engineering Science, which prepares students for transfer to a four-year college or university.