Catherine Ross
Catherine Ross
Project Engineer, K2M, Inc
Arlington, VA

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Since I was young I always enjoyed math and science. However, my real passion was to become a ballet dancer. I actually progressed fairly far into my dance career until I was told that I had scoliosis (a curved spine) and I was going to need back surgery. After multiple surgeries I was no longer able to perform some of the flexible moves required to be a professional dancer and decided to change my path. I talked with my AP Calculus teacher in high school about what I should do and he recommended engineering. I decided to go to Virginia Tech and I got my degree in Engineering Science and Mechanics (where the biomedical option at Virginia Tech resided when I was an undergraduate). I also ended up getting a second degree in Mathematics because I loved my math classes so much. Virginia Tech was a wonderful experience for me. I was able to perform research about scoliosis as an undergraduate, I became president of the Society of Women Engineers at VT, and I started a chapter of Alpha Omega Epsilon Sorority. All of these things were unspeakably helpful when finding a job. After I graduated, I decided to work for a company called K2M, Inc. K2M's mission is to develop and deliver technological innovations which enable surgeons to more effectively treat the world's most complex spinal disorders. I have an exciting and challenging job every day and one that really allows me to impact others' lives just as I was through my own back surgery. I also am an active volunteer in the community. I volunteer with Habitat for Humanity on the Family Selection committee which is extremely rewarding. I am also still very active with my sorority Alpha Omega Epsilon. Alpha Omega Epsilon is a professional and social sorority founded in 1983 that promotes friendship, leadership, and professionalism to all members of the organization, the community, and our professions. It is really the best organization that I joined as an undergraduate and it continues to be the most rewarding volunteering experience I participate in as an alumna. If you have ever wanted a group of friends who felt like family and know exactly what you are going through being in a tough, male dominated industry, Alpha Omega Epsilon is for you! Please contact me with any questions about my career or volunteer work. I love to help out female engineers and scientists find their way in the world!

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B.S. Engineering Science and Mechanics, Virginia Tech 2006 B.S. Mathematics, Virginia Tech 2006 M.S. Biomedical Technology Development & Management, Georgetown University and Virginia Tech 2011
Volunteer Opportunities
  • I am willing to be contacted by educators for possible speaking engagements in schools or in after school programs or summer camps.
  • I am willing to be interviewed by interested students via email.
  • I am willing to answer written interview questions to be posted on the EngineerGirl website.
  • I am willing to conduct a video interview with an interested student for posting on the website.
  • I am willing to participate in a conference call with a group of interested students who would like to know about my career.
Latest Questions
  • Rachel , Geneva asked Catherine Ross, K2M, Inc

    Added Friday, February 26, 2016 at 6:41 PM

    Hi! I am a high school senior and I want to go into biological/biomedical engineering. I've been accepted to some pretty good engineering schools like University of Illinois and others, but many people say that even if I graduate from a good school, jobs in bio-engineering are hard to come by and I will have a tough time finding a job. Do you agree? Thank you!
    Related to Bioengineering/Biomedical, Internships & Jobs, Unique Challenges
    Answers 1
    Catherine Ross, K2M, Inc
    Answered Friday, February 26, 2016 at 6:41 PM

    Hi Rachel, 

    Congrats on getting accepted to great engineering schools! I have many sorority sisters who graduated in engineering at the University of Illinois and they had a fantastic experience - it is a great school! I would say that finding a ...

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  • Tekeyia, Rocky Mount asked Catherine Ross, K2M, Inc

    Added Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 2:22 AM

    Hello, I see many colleges use bioengineering interchangeably with biomedical engineering. The college that I am looking at to transfer to focuses on biomedical engineering, but I'm more interested in biological engineering. Would it matter if I studied biomedical to find a biological engineering job? Do jobs see them as being two separate careers or the same?
    Related to Bioengineering/Biomedical, Choosing a Degree
    Answers 2
    Esha Singh, Life Science
    Answered Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 2:22 AM
    Hello Tekeyia.
    Bioengineering is the Basically an  application of engineering in creating artificial organs, chemicals, drugs and tissues. However the biomedical engineering uses technologies and principles for designing, maintaining and calibrate all ...
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    Catherine Ross, K2M, Inc
    Answered Thursday, October 22, 2015 at 2:22 AM
    Hello Tekeyia, I usually think of biological engineering more synced to agriculture and biology (engineering behind plants, crops, animals, etc). Biomedical engineering is the term I use for the engineering of the human body. Some schools might use them ...Read More
  • Mairi, Melbourne asked Catherine Ross, K2M, Inc

    Added Thursday, August 20, 2015 at 1:51 AM

    Hi Catherine! I have just recently stopped dancing (ballet) have trained full time and danced semi-professionally for three years out of high school. I am looking at doing a double degree in biomedicine and engineering because I am interested in combining both fields, however this adds an extra two years undergrad study, so I am undecided about committing to both and am not sure which one to go with if I do choose a single degree option. I am definitely better at and prefer the classes related ...
    Related to Choosing a Degree, Merging Fields, Preparation for College
    Answers 1
    Catherine Ross, K2M, Inc
    Answered Thursday, August 20, 2015 at 1:51 AM

    Hi Mairi,

    I might be biased since I am an engineer, but I think engineering presents a lot of advantages. Could you get a minor in one and major in the other? I was a double major and it did add some time (several summers) but I wouldn't be afraid ...

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