Surgical Safeguard

Devesh Bhura brought his MSR experience to Johnson & Johnson MedTech this summer to help the company develop a new operating room robot. 

Devesh Bhura spent the summer playing a part in creating the operating room of the future.  

Bhura interned at Johnson & Johnson MedTech, where he helped develop a safety mechanism that senses errors during robot-assisted surgery, which immediately stops the machine.  

Devesh Bhura“It’s a very important part of a medical device,” Bhura said. “Without the safety checks in place, it cannot be deployed on live patients.”   

Johnson & Johnson MedTech is the pharmaceutical company’s division focused on innovative devices designed to make healthcare safer and more efficient.   

In his role, Bhura applied lessons learned in Northwestern Engineering's Master of Science in Robotics (MSR) program. He said the internship experience is a crucial part of the MSR program because it helps students see the skills necessary to succeed in a robotics career, giving students an opportunity to test whether a robotics sub-field they are interested in feels right for them.  

Bhura said he enjoyed working on a new product designed to help people’s well-being. He added that the division’s agile and collaborative corporate culture fit well with his preferred working style.  

“Johnson & Johnson MedTech is a very new division with a strong startup vibe but funded by a large corporation,” he said. “It has the best of both worlds, where things are new and exciting and changing, yet there is some big-company structure in place.” 

The most valuable lesson he learned was to be aggressive in seeking solutions instead of sitting back and doing only what was asked of him.  

Johnson & Johnson MedTech provided Bhura with an ideal working environment as he continues to explore his options for a post-graduation career. That Bhura now considers himself a roboticist is a testament to the strength of the MSR program, he said. When Bhura came to MSR in August 2021, he had a background in mechanical engineering but little programming experience. 

“This program turned me into a roboticist,” he said. “In a very short span of time, you do a number of projects, both as part of class and outside on your own. This really prepares you for a lot of challenges in industry. 

"If you want to gain the skills to be an all-rounded roboticist, this is definitely the program you are looking for." 

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