Zion Maynard

Meet Zion Maynard:

Headshot of person wearing grey zip up, standing outside.

About Zion

Zion Maynard is a newly minted engineer, having received his Iron Ring from the University of Guelph a few weeks ago. As a B.Eng Biomedical Engineer Co-op student, his co-op work terms have taken him from Waterloo to Vancouver and Toronto. He has worked as a Product Design Engineer at Inksmith Ltd, an Opto-Mechanical Engineer at Stryker, and an Advanced Development Engineer at Boston Scientific. Outside of co-op, he also co-founded the podcast Medtalkcracy with Alia Myers to bridge the gap between industry and students on a global scale. Zion talks about his varying roles, empathy in the Engineering industry, what impact he hopes to have on the industry, and what National Engineering Month means to him.

What roles have you held in your co-op positions so far?

I’ve completed all my co-op terms now. The first was a Product Design Engineer at a Waterloo-based ed-tech start-up called Inksmith Ltd., then I was an Opto-Mechanical Engineer at Stryker in Vancouver BC, followed by an 8-month Advanced Development Engineer position at Boston Scientific’s Electrophysiology division in Toronto.”

What kind of work did you do in each role?

“At InkSmith I wore multiple hats in product design, mechanical design and manufacturing. Some of my projects included face masks design to optimize ergonomics and increase bacterial filtration efficiency. Those masks went onto to be used all throughout the country and it was a full circle moment seeing the boxes all over campus the following semester.”

“At Stryker I worked at the bleeding edge of optical technology to drive fluorescence imaging as a standard of care in surgical practices. During that co-op, I led the research and design of a novel passive cooling solution for a handheld medical device that outperformed thermal profiles of competitor devices 5x.  I also designed and built a hand-held imager that can visualize blood vessels from the surface of the skin to evaluate tissue perfusion.”

“At Boston Scientific, I worked on a very early phase product team where I blended my technical skills with my business acumen to find solutions to the most pressing unmet clinical needs in the electrophysiology sphere generating viable business cases for the company.” 

Did you have a favourite project that you worked on throughout your different co-op positions?

Developing the novel passive cooling solution at Stryker sticks out for me! This project had all the engineering fundamental design principles baked into it, from Research and Analysis of Existing Solutions to Ergonomics, Occam’s razor, Lateral Thinking and Best Practices of Product Development. There was also a chicken and egg conundrum since my project was based on Heat and Mass Transfer, a course I was slated to take AFTER my co-op, so my boss gave me 2 massive textbooks. I remember missing camping trips to spend weekends getting extra thermal data, though I wouldn’t recommend doing that, it panned out to be a successful project which will save the company a lot of money.”

What is the most valuable thing that you have you learned about the Engineering Industry through your varying co-op roles?

The most valuable thing that I’ve learned, is often overlooked, and it’s empathy. Empathy is the ability to understand and relate to the thoughts, feelings, and experiences of others. While engineering is often associated with technical skills and problem-solving abilities, empathy is a crucial skill that helps engineers build better relationships with their colleagues and stakeholders and ultimately build better products for customers.”

Tell us about the podcast you started! Why/how did you start it and how has your experience been with that so far?

When the pandemic hit, there was a lot of social media content on how to land interviews at FAANG companies but for kids in the MedTech, health tech and the biotech space, there were literally zero voices! Who is the Elon Musk of MedTech? What are the jobs in MedTech? What is the Apple of MedTech? How do you even get into talent pipelines for early stage biotech start-ups? This is only the surface of questions that were asked. As such, I co-founded Medtalkcracy with Alia Myers and we were able to bridge that gap between industry and students on a global scale. The podcast allowed me to meet a lot of wonderful professionals and really ambitious students, some of whom are my best friends today. These days, I’ve sunset Medtalkcracy as I’ve grown as an individual and evolved as an engineer. I’m actively exploring other fields within tech and venture capital to build some disruptive products that will scale across large consumer bases.”

What impact do you hope to have on the Engineering industry?

I often think about how I want to be remembered when everything is said and done. Considering the circumstances and hardships I’ve overcome to be in my current position, I want to use my experiences and skills to create disruptive technology products that make a meaningful contribution to society while also leaving a lasting legacy as a mentor to many and an inspiration to others.”

What does National Engineering Month mean to you?

This year, National Engineering Month rings a bit different, as I’m a newly minted engineer having received my Iron Ring a few weeks ago. For me, National Engineering Month is a time to reflect on the hard work, dedication, and sacrifice that has gone into my education and the pursuit of my engineering career. It's also an opportunity to look forward to the future, to the many challenges and opportunities that lie ahead. But perhaps most importantly, National Engineering Month is a reminder of the responsibility that comes with being an engineer. We are tasked with solving some of the world's most complex problems, and we must do so with integrity, humility, and a deep respect for the impact that our work has on society.”