The McEwen Family Entrance Award, a new scholarship from the University of British Columbia’s School of Biomedical Engineering (SBME), is an investment in young talent as the future of biomedical engineering research and education in British Columbia and Canada—and highlights the school as a world-leading centre for education and innovation in the biomedical engineering space

The scholarship’s inaugural recipient is Caitlin Ambrose, a first year undergraduate student who developed a specific interest in healthcare and engineering while still in high school.

“I’m extremely grateful and honoured to be awarded this scholarship,” Caitlin says. “The idea that technology and the human body can be combined to improve everyday life fascinates me. It is so exciting and rewarding to be pursuing a career that innovates for the betterment of people’s lives.”

The McEwen Family Entrance Award builds on SBME’s inclusive culture of passion and innovation which attracts a diverse faculty and student body to expand and advance the field. This approach has enabled the school to become an anchor in the entrepreneurial life sciences sector in B.C., and a global leader in biomedical engineering, winning multiple prestigious national and international research awards.

The scholarship’s namesake, Dr. Jim McEwen, has been closely involved with SBME since he graduated from the school himself in 1971. An Officer of the Order of Canada and a Member of the Order of British Columbia for his contributions to biomedical engineering, Dr. McEwen calls the award a way to “pay it forward” because a similar scholarship allowed him to pursue his career many years ago.

Dr. McEwen has also made a generous $1M contribution towards building state-of-the-art facilities at UBC specifically designed to further support and encourage students like Caitlin in their educational and entrepreneurial journeys.

“I’m amazed by the expanding scope of biomedical engineering, and by the new discoveries and applications that are being made daily,” Dr. McEwen says. “I’m even more excited by the quality, creativity, and spirit of those entering the field.”