CHEPS Pulse: Catching Up With Alum Kathy Lu, April 2019

In This Issue

Alumni Spotlight: Kathy Lu
Recent News
Where in the World Is CHEPS

Alumni Spotlight: Kathy Lu

Kathy Lu graduated from the University of Michigan with a BSE in Biomedical Engineering (2012) and an MSE in Industrial and Operations Engineering (2013). “I studied biomedical engineering and worked at CHEPS because I wanted to apply technology to helping people get the quality, affordable medical care they deserve,” she said. 

And she’s doing just that. Kathy now works at Butterfly Network in New York City. Butterfly Network has created a low-cost, portable ultrasound device that you can plug into your phone. “I work on the ‘cloud storage platform’ team. Healthcare practitioners, the customers of our company, use the cloud storage platform to upload the ultrasound images they take and share them with their coworkers for diagnosis, collaboration, and quality assurance,” she said. “I work on the backend services and web frontend. On a day-to-day basis, I spend a lot of time at my desk writing architecture/API proposals, writing code, and talking with the other teams my team collaborates with, e.g., the product, design, machine learning, and mobile app teams.”

Kathy finds that the things she learned in her work at CHEPS are invaluable to her work today. “I got most of my software/coding experience in college working on healthcare projects with CHEPS,” said Kathy. “Also, I worked on a project with CHEPS that was creating an Engineer’s Guide to Observation Medicine based on shadowing emergency medicine physicians to provide context about processes and constraints in emergency medicine. Emergency physicians are actually the first customers of my current company.” 

Kathy has many good memories of her time at CHEPS. In addition to her work on the Engineer’s Guide to Observation Medicine, she also worked on creating a simulation of asthma patient flow in the pediatric emergency department. “I have fond memories of coding in the Dude with Zongchang on simulation and shadowing Dr. Michelle Macy at the emergency department. Coincidentally, one time I felt very light-headed while there and had to become a patient. Most of all, having Amy [Cohn] as a brilliant, wise, and empathetic technical woman mentor has been extremely important and valuable for me.” 

Though Kathy is utilizing her skills in healthcare now, she’s found that’s not the only place they’re applicable. “At my previous job as a game designer, I often used linear programming to determine how powerful characters’ abilities should be,” she said. 

But it’s at Butterfly Network where she has found something that seems like the perfect fit. “I enjoy working on a team and building something out of code and design. When I’m coding, it often really feels like I’m playing a game, solving puzzles, e.g., getting all my tests to pass while doing test-driven development. I appreciate that as an engineer, the work I do can be more objectively measured than in other jobs that I’ve done in the past (like being a game designer),” she said. 

Kathy and friends organizing

Of her interests outside of work, Kathy said, “I teach in an after-school program (Citizen Schools) at a middle school in Brooklyn, tutor code boot camp graduates for software engineering interviews, practice improv comedy, organize with Progressive Hack Night and Tech Workers Coalition, and read a lot of books.” She added, “If you care about having more justice and peace in the world, please read these books: Winners Take All: The Elite Charade of Changing the World by Anand Giridharadas and The Divide: Global Inequality from Conquest to Free Markets by Jason Hickel.”

Recent News

Where in the World is CHEPS?

We are always so grateful when our ⁦alums are back in town and make time to visit! Pictured are Tommy, Peter, and Amy Cohn with George Tam, Mark Grum, and Nina Scheinberg. George is a Senior Analyst – Transatlantic Revenue Management at Delta Air Lines in Atlanta, GA; Mark is a Senior Analytics Consultant at GE Healthcare in Chicago, IL; and Nina is a 6th Grade Math Teacher at Greenhills School in Ann Arbor. 

See more Where in the World is CHEPS at our webpage. 

Center for Healthcare Engineering & Patient Safety | University of Michigan
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