Ryan worked at the MicroTech Lab in the Terrassa campus of the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya. He was tasked with designing an electrode that was to be used in a medical device being designed by the lab to measure various properties of blood. The electrode was to be made out of silver ink and stick on a glass slide. Ryan worked to find an effective method of ensuring that the ink would stick.
Ryan was able to create the electrode under the conditions outlined by his supervisor, as well as a manual for future lab members to use for when they want to make more electrodes in the future. He recommends working for this lab for anyone who is interested in biological applications of engineering. Ryan believes that this experience has made him a more globally-minded person, open to looking for opportunities to build skills and meet people from all around the world.
While in Spain, Ryan found that the working environment was much more relaxed than in the United States. Everyone, he noted, was less rushed and took their time on their work. Although it was slower than he was used to, he learned to appreciate the value of pacing oneself.
Spanish culture, he found, revolves around enjoying everyday life. People like to hang around in cafés and have long chats while having a cup of coffee. Eating is a much more social occasion than in the U.S., even for the busy university students there, who always ate as a group.
By immersing himself in the Spanish culture, Ryan felt as if he was looking at life in a new way, something that he wants to keep after returning to MIT.