Twenty students from the Davies Career and Technical High School Biotech program recently attended the state’s first Bioscience Job Shadow Day at C.R. Bard’s Davol facility in Warwick. The event was held in partnership with Tech Collective and Junior Achievement of Rhode Island.
The students began their day with an overview of the bioscience industry and of Davol’s rich history. Starting as a rubber company, Davol is one of the oldest companies still manufacturing medical supplies and devices. Today, Davol’s current innovative product lines focus on soft tissue reconstruction. Davol is a wholly-owned subsidiary of C.R. Bard, Inc., one of the top 10 medical device companies nationwide.
Engaging members of the Davol staff, the students garnered hands-on insights into various aspects of the medical device field. In Davol’s product design and product prototype development departments, students learned about the company’s 3D printer and prototype creation. A 3D-printed enlarged scale model of Davol’s mesh fixation fastener was passed along to the students. In the R&D testing and advanced quality engineering labs, students used Davol’s fixation devices to “fasten” the company’s various styles of mesh products to synthetic muscle walls. Closing out the day, the students suited up and donned protective eyewear to enter Davol’s environmental control room.
The job shadow was led by Davol’s Vice President of Regulatory Affairs, Tom Hutchinson, who encouraged the students to be engaged, ask questions and to think about their own futures. They did, asking Hutchinson how and where Davol’s hernia mesh patches were placed in the body and how long the healing process took; how the company designed and tested new product ideas; what the future of the company and its products might hold; and various career opportunities within the industry.
“Today was a great day for Davol,” said Hutchinson. “Our employees were eager to educate and encourage the students, providing a bridge between their classroom today and their careers in the future. Industry interest in supporting education programs, such as those conducted by Tech Collective, is not only a critical means to developing our future scientists, engineers, medical workers and technicians but also in advancing Rhode Island economically to become more competitive in the current and future marketplace,” he said in a statement.