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Lina Abd Rahim

Biomedical engineer-to-be


In her final years of high school in Malaysia, Lina Abd Rahim was thinking about becoming a doctor like many of her friends. But a gentle nudge from her dad got her thinking about other ways she could combine her interests in biology and physics. 

“He told me to look up biomedical engineering and it was fascinating,” says Lina. “I realised that the technical and analytical side of biomedical engineering would challenge me more than becoming a doctor.”

Lina wants to have an impact on human health by working on the medical devices doctors use. Now in the fourth year of her engineering degree at ANU, she is excited to finish her Honours project – a portable breathalyser for detecting lung cancer. “It’s such a cool project – improving a sensor using nanotechnology so that it can detect really low concentrations of lung cancer biomarkers in someone’s breath,” she says. 

One of Lina’s goals is to make wearable medical devices accessible to more people, especially for the early detection of diseases. “A device like this in a hospital, or a wearable device, would mean people wouldn’t have to get expensive scans or invasive procedures as often,” she says. 

Lina also thinks biomedical engineering flies under the radar in the minds of future students. “I want people to know what we do and spark interest in the next generation of engineers.”

– Jo Khan

Lina’s career path:

>> Student Ambassador, College of Engineering & Computer Science, ANU

>> Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) / Biomedical, ANU

>> Bachelor of Engineering / Mechanical, Universiti Kuala Lumpur

To get there: Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (Biomedical Systems), ANU

This article was brought to you in partnership with the Australian National University. It originally appears in Careers with STEM: Engineering 2019.

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