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The Washington Research Foundation Fellowship

Student Experiences

Steven Asplund - Bioengineering

Steven's Project - Development of microvalves for integration in microfluidic point-of-care diagnostic applications

The purpose of this project is to design, fabricate and test miniature valves. These valves will be used to control small volumes of fluid in credit-card sized devices that will eventually be used for rapid, on-site (point-of-care) medical tests. Thus, the valves must be small, applicable to a wide range of designs and be able to be quickly switched between devices.

When, how, & why did you get involved in research?

I became involved in research towards the end of my sophomore year. I become involved at an early stage because I wanted to complete a complex, challenging project for my senior capstone.

The most enjoyable aspect of research for me is coming up with an idea for a new device, and then taking it through the R&D process. Hopefully, in the end you come out with a product, and its something you can be proud of.

What advice would you give to other student?

Look around at a couple of different labs. Even though you might have found something that perks your interest, there are a lot of other (and potentially even more interesting!) projects out there that might better play to your skills set and passions.

Future Plans

Graduate coursework towards a MS in MechE or Operational Planning with a future option of Law School or an MBA.


Dr. Paul Yager of Bioengineer is a terrific resource and has and continues to be an excellent mentor. Thanks!

Awards and Honors

  • Research Fellow for Advanced Undergraduates