Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

Kenzie Baer, PhD Candidate

Kenzie Baer student profile-2 full width 2020
Kenzie Baer.

What are you currently studying?

I’m completing my PhD with a project focused on imaging of cartilage, bone, and engineered tissue construct, assessing the quality of the tissues.

Why did you choose to study at the University of Otago, Christchurch?

Because of the quality of research that I saw coming from the top research groups in their fields.

And because the prospect of collaborating between research groups and merging two areas of research appealed to me, since the combination usually gives a different view of the topic and provides an opportunity to learn more about multiple areas and experience problem-solving across both fields.

And why did you choose bioengineering as a subject?

I grew up surrounded and stimulated by the medical field in general. My father is a physician and my childhood included dinner table talk of babies being delivered, and how to stop bleeding.

I decided early on that I was not suited to doing these tasks myself, but I was intrigued by the way the body works, the tools and devices used to fix it, and how a well-designed tool can make all the difference to a doctor.

All of this led to me choosing biomedical engineering as a profession. This area of study fascinates me – it’s a field that combines investigating the complexity of the human body with the application of engineering principles.

What are you enjoying about studying medical imaging in a bioengineering context?

One of the things I enjoy about my studies is the collaboration between two research fields since I get to learn a lot about both fields, and about how to communicate combined results to both audiences.

I also enjoy the variety of international students in my research groups – we get to work together and then explore New Zealand together in our spare time. With all of us coming from different countries, I am constantly learning something new about the world, as well as how much we all have in common.

What were you doing before you enrolled in your PhD at the University of Otago?

I came here from Colorado State University, where I completed two undergraduate degrees – a B.S. in Biomedical Engineering, and a B.S. in Chemical Biological Engineering.

Where do you think your Otago qualification will take you?

I am hoping my degree will take me into a career in the growing and continuously evolving biomedical-device industry.

What advice would you give to someone who is thinking about studying at Otago?

Go for it! Learning, studying and researching more about a field you are passionate about is a great experience. Otago’s research quality, and specifically the Christchurch campus' research environment and collaboration, has allowed me to expand my knowledge about subjects I had only heard about before.