Doctoral student in the Watson School of Engineering and research assistant at Mayo Clinic, Tarun Mohan Lal recently received the New Faces of Engineering Award.
DiscoverE’s New Faces of Engineering Awards aims to promote the accomplishments of young engineers by highlighting their contributions and impact on society. Engineers 30 years old or younger who have showcased their abilities on projects in the hopes for public welfare or further professional development are eligible for the award.
Lal earned his bachelor’s degree in industrial engineering at Manipal University and master’s degree at Texas A&M University, and he is a doctoral candidate at Binghamton University studying systems science and industrial engineering.
While Lal studied engineering, he said he was passionate about medical work.
“As a kid, I always wanted to be a doctor; however my aptitude for math led me toward engineering,” Lal wrote in an email.
Prior to coming to BU, Lal said was discouraged because he did not know how he could incorporate industrial engineering into the medical field. However, his opinions changed when he took a class on health care engineering with Mohammad T. Khasawneh.
Lal said Khasawneh, a professor in the systems science and industrial engineering department, encouraged him to continue with both health care and industrial engineering.
“Coming from a family that has very few engineers, I was heavily dependent on mentors, professors and colleagues for guiding me through my career progression,” Lal wrote.
At BU, Lal worked as a teaching assistant for classes like Operations Research, and said that this opportunity allowed him to build a community with both graduate and undergraduate students.
Lal said he found interest in other aspects of industrial engineering as well.
“I realized I enjoyed leading teams on a small scale, and it seemed like industrial engineering combined the ability to put pieces together, look at things from a holistic perspective and build on those management skills,” Lal wrote. “It’s the opportunity to be able to apply holistic approach to solve problems and have a progression to take management roles that drove to me towards industrial engineering.”
Lal said he’s interested in continuing his work, inspiring younger engineers and changing the health care system in the United States.
“I want to continue a career in healthcare and eventually take roles where I re engineer the healthcare in U.S. to meet the vision of healthcare for all,” Lal wrote. “This cannot be done by one person — it needs to be a team effort. Instead, it takes everybody having enough knowledge to accept, adapt and lead such projects, hence I want to educate everyone from patients to providers to work towards this vision.”
Lal is a senior health services analyst at Mayo Clinic, where he focuses on the use of advanced analytics for surgical and patient scheduling in hopes for improved patient experience at reduced costs.
After winning the award, Lal said he hopes other engineers may pursue goals similar to his own.
“This award now gives me the ability to inspire young engineers through their career transitions and helps them make the world a better place,” Lal wrote.