Panel Discussions on Engineering in Surgery and Intervention

Careers from Entrepreneur to Enterprise Part I

February 7, 2023, 6 - 6:30pm CST
Online Webinar

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About the event

Would you like to hear from industry leaders and entrepreneurs who are actively engaged in an engineering career associated with surgery and intervention? Here’s your chance. This two-part webinar series will feature a focused 30-minute discussion from folks that span the industrial spectrum from startup to major enterprise to include commercial development partner.  
Each of these panel members has a unique perspective on the field of engineering and its impact on surgery and intervention, and what careers in this dynamic domain are all about.
In Part I, we explore careers at the enterprise level with Stephen Aylward, PhD, Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives at Kitware, Inc. and Jing Zhao, PhD, Senior Principle Analytics Tech Lead – Surgical Robotics at Medtronic. You will hear first-hand experiences on the impact of the open-source software movement and the power of surgical robotics.

Jing Zhao


Jing Zhao received his B.Eng. from Tsinghua University in Electrical Engineering. He received his M.S. and Ph.D. from The Ohio State University specializing in Electrical and Computer Engineering. He is also a graduate of the Carlson School of Management at University of Minnesota with an MBA degree. He joined Medtronic in2011 and is currently a Senior Principal Analytics Tech Lead and Technical Fellow at the Surgical Robotics Operating Unit. During his tenure at Medtronic’s Cardiac Rhythm and Heart Failure division, Jing made significant contributions to product development and technology standardization of MRI-conditional cardiac implantable electronic devices (CIEDs), resulting in the U.S. FDA-approved first implantable cardioverter defibrillator (Evera MRI™ ICD system) for 1.5T and 3T full-body MRI scans. Jing holds 21 U.S. and international patents (pending) and two Medtronic Trade Secrets. Jing’s research interests are in the fields ofcomputational modeling, applied electromagnetics, robotics, machine learning, and strategies for technology commercialization in the MedTech industry. Outside Medtronic, He is the current chair of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society Denver Chapter. Jing is also an adjunct instructor at University of Colorado Boulder’s Biomedical Engineering Program and serves as an industry advisor for the Graduate Program in Engineering in Surgery and Intervention at Vanderbilt University.

Stephen Aylward


Stephen R. Aylward, Ph.D. is Senior Director of Strategic Initiatives at Kitware, Fellow of the MICCAI Society, and Adjunct Associate Professor of Computer Science at The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to founding Kitware’s office in North Carolina, he was a tenured associate professor in the Department of Radiology at UNC. He also serves as chair of the MONAI advisory board, treasurer of the MICCAI SpecialInterest Group on Medical Ultrasound, and advisory board member for multiple other academic and industrial organizations. His NIH, DARPA, and DoD-funded research publications have been cited over 12,000 times, with an h-index of 43. His research is currently focused on point-of-care AI and AR/VR technologies.









Join a community of mission-driven surgical engineers at Vanderbilt University School of Engineering.

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