MDI '20 Alum Earns a Promotion and Prestigious Leadership Nomination

George Kryzer, a 2020 graduate of the Technological Leadership Institute’s M.S. in Medical Device Innovation (MDI) program, knew from an early age what he wanted to do with his life.

“During my childhood, I always enjoyed taking household items apart to discover how they worked. My curiosity developed into a thirst for an understanding of electronics. At the age of 11, I told my mom I wanted to be either an NHL hockey player or an electrical engineer. I guess it’s always good to have multiple career options,” says Kryzer, who has found great success in the engineering field, including a recent promotion.

After graduating from North Dakota State University with an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering, he landed a job as an electrical component engineer for Emerson Process Management in the Twin Cities. He specialized in electrical component qualification for new product designs including wireless temperature transmitters for the gas, oil and pharmaceutical industries. It was during that time that a close friend was diagnosed with atrial fibrillation, an irregular heart beat that can lead to heart failure, and sparked a new found interest in the medical device field.

“I found it truly remarkable how advancing technologies can be used to treat diseases and I knew I wanted to be a part of it," says Kryzer.  Shortly after that, he joined St. Jude Medical, prior to its acquisition by Abbott, as a Design Assurance Engineer.

“Healthcare has always had a special place in my heart and its very rewarding to build a career around it”, he adds. Knowing he wanted to further his education to accelerate his career in the medical device field, he attended an information session for the MDI program.    

“Having a passion for medical device new product development and an interest in strengthening my business management aptitude, I knew the MDI program was a perfect fit for me,” says Kryzer. “Minneapolis is known as the Medical Alley; the world’s best health technology innovation takes place here. It is where healthcare leaders call home and having the opportunity to study in the MDI program in such a medical device focused city was very important to me.”

With his experience specifically focused on electromechanical medical devices, Kryzer says the MDI curriculum introduced him to many different technologies and product solutions within the industry and gave him a better understanding of the broader medical device market, including its current and future state.

“It has given me the marketing forecast skills I needed to understand the big picture of medical device new product development. Because of how fast medical technology is advancing, the medical device market is a moving target that requires a high level of anticipation,” he adds.  

Kryzer’s new knowledge earned him a promotion to Principal Design Assurance Engineer just before completing the program. And a year and a half later in November 2021, he was promoted again to an R&D Manager and was nominated for Abbott’s Emerging Leaders Program. The five-month, global leadership development training is designed to identify and develop cross-divisional talent to effectively compete for future leadership roles. It focuses on leadership tools and techniques including communication, innovation, peer relationships and achieving business results. In order to take part, participants must be nominated and selected by current leadership.

“I was already very excited to start my new role as an R&D Program Manager and to be nominated and selected for this Emerging Leader Program is a huge vote of confidence,” says Kryzer. “It validates my hard work and it’s going to open up some very exciting doors for me as my career progresses. My focus will always remain on bringing the very best medical devices to the market to improve patient lives but I wouldn’t mind becoming a C-level executive someday. If I told my mom at the age of 11 that I wanted to be an electrical engineer maybe I should tell her at age 35 that I want to be a CEO.”

Kryzer says the hands-on learning of the MDI practicum and his capstone, which was named 2020 Best Capstone First Runner Up, helped give him a leg up.

“Going through this process from start to finish while utilizing all the tools I have acquired in the MDI program has added years of experience to my career," he says. “I feel like I carry that confidence into every professional team meeting I lead today.”