Hard work pays off

CSE student turns animal prosthetics internship into a real job

May 6, 2019

The second Aimee Krebsbach set foot inside Caerus Corp., she knew it was the right fit. 

“It was awesome,” she said of the medical device company in Arden Hills, Minn. “There was a dog that greeted me right away, and I knew that I would fit in as soon as I walked in the door.”

Krebsbach, a recipient of the University of Minnesota’s Presidential Scholarship, has been interning at the medical devices company for over a year, designing and prototyping prosthetics and braces for both humans and animals. As a biomedical engineering senior and University honors student, graduating May 2019, she works hard to balance her time between six classes and her part-time internship. 

Last year, Krebsbach even played club hockey on top of a heavy course load and work. But, she believes that a busy schedule leads to better performance both academically and professionally.  

“I’ve always been someone who pushes myself,” she said.

“I think the busier you are, the more productive you are," she added, "especially at work, because unlike school, it’s something where your efforts become something that can make a difference in the company or the patient’s life.”

The University of Minnesota's College of Science and Engineering was on her radar not only because she grew up in Mahtomedi, Minn., but because her father, Mark, is a 1985 alumnus of the civil engineering department. Krebsbach chose a different field. Biomedical engineering offered her the perfect blend of medicine and helping others.

Krebsbach participated in the University’s Lillehei Summer Research Scholars Program after her freshman year, then continued to pursue hands-on experiences via the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program (UROP) her sophomore year. She received a UROP scholarship to study muscular dystrophy in mice at the Lillehei Heart Institute on the Twin Cities campus. 

That background, she said, gave her an edge when she applied for an internship at Caerus Corp. She found the internship experience through SciTechsperience, a state-funded program that connects STEM majors across the state with small businesses that need help.

Coming full circle 

As an intern at Caerus Corp., Krebsbach does everything from design to research to prototyping. Last summer, she led a project to build medical braces for dogs, for which she handled the design, researched similar consumer products, and wrote instructions for manufacturers to make the braces. Now, the company is finally ready to launch the product line. 

“Everything is finally coming together,” Krebsbach said. “Seeing it come full circle will continue in the next couple months, which I’m excited about.” 

Krebsbach is also enthusiastic about the company culture.  

“It’s a lot more collaborative, which I really like,” she said. “It’s nice to be working with other people consistently and having that communication, especially at a small company where R&D is working directly with marketing and sales. You get to work with different people and different teams every day.”

Krebsbach said that while college has given her a wealth of technical knowledge and problem-solving skills, working with a team in the industry only enhances these skills through real-world experience. 

“The biggest thing I’ve learned is to be open to new ideas and experiences,” Krebsbach said.

“Day to day, I never know what’s going to happen when I walk into the office, which I really like.”

Now, Krebsbach is working on a human medical brace that utilizes Pulse Electromagnetic Field technology, which helps increase blood flow to relieve pain.

After graduating this spring, Krebsbach plans to work full-time at Caerus Corp. while taking graduate classes part-time in the College of Science and Engineering’s mechanical engineering program. 

Story by Olivia Hultgren

If you’d like to support student scholarships at the University of Minnesota College of Science and Engineering, visit our CSE Giving website.