We are the engineers of possible: R&D Leader Loves Jiu Jitsu and Learning
Growing up in a small town in Iran, Elaheh Alizadeh remembers thinking that she wanted to become an engineer and be amongst the best and the brightest. This is the same person who at the age of seven, as a hobby, would ask her father – who has a master’s degree in mathematics -- for complex math problems because she found it enjoyable to solve them.
Fast forward to 2023, and Elaheh manifested the career she dreamt of as an Associate Director of R&D working within the BD Medication Management Solutions (MMS) business in San Diego, CA. She is proud of the work she and the team do to support the infusion platform.
“The best thing about my job is that every day, I get to do what I love and enjoy doing, get to challenge myself and learn something new, and most importantly know that I am working towards something meaningful and can have a positive impact on so many patients’ lives,” noted Elaheh, who has been with BD for nearly four years. “The impact we have on patients is so powerful through our numerous products and solutions.”
Beginning her BD Career Journey
Elaheh graduated from the University of California – Los Angeles (UCLA) in 2019 with a PhD in Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering with an emphasis on fluid dynamics.
After spending six months at a competitor participating in an internship, Elaheh came to BD by way of one of the company’s Early Talent Rotational Programs: the Technology Leadership Development Program (TLDP). The TLDP is open to early-career R&D associates with a PhD with the goal of accelerating their professional development.
“Through the TLDP, you participate in three rotations. My first was in MMS Dispensing, leading the hardware team working on design, prototyping and testing. My second rotation was in MMS Infusion where I took on a more challenging assignment and had the opportunity to lead the technical team for one of our top projects in medical segment. And the final rotation was in BD Biosciences as the clinical software program manager. It was way out of my comfort zone because I did not know biology or software engineering, but I welcomed the challenge and learned so much – I was able to build up my skills and abilities even more and find my new passion,” she explained.
Ask and You Shall Receive
When asked what attributes an individual needs to be successful at BD, Elaheh says there are three that come to mind: “Ask and you Shall Receive at BD. You need to be willing to ask for what you want in your career.”
The second piece of advice she would offer would be to build your network. The last item Elaheh calls out is to keep challenging yourself and stepping out of your comfort zone.
“BD is a big, global company so don’t be afraid to connect with and reach out to others. There is so much to learn here, and the company does an amazing job of helping people develop and grow. I’d also offer to become like a sponge and soak up as much knowledge as you can and put your Career Blueprint to work for you,” said Elaheh. “I really love my job and am so grateful to work at BD.”
When she is not working, Elaheh might be found mountain biking in and around the hills of San Diego. But the better bet would be training Jiu Jitsu, which she holds a blue belt in currently.
“I’ve become obsessed with Jiu Jitsu – I do it four or five times per week now. It’s the perfect balance of physical and mental activity. And its very strategy based – it’s like playing human chess which is what drew me to it,” Elaheh concluded.