Rafia Summan

Systems Engineer, THINK Surgical, Inc.

And - Founder, The Kaanch


Change the ratio and be the difference.

What do you do?

I work for THINK Surgical as a Systems Engineer and my job focuses on design and manage complex systems over their product development cycle. I am responsible for taking a product from its concept phase to product release. THINK Surgical develops, manufactures and markets the only active robotic surgical system for orthopaedic surgery. The system includes two components: a 3D preoperative planning workstation for preoperative planning, and a computer assisted tool utilised for precise cavity and surface preparation for hip and knee replacement surgeries. The systems have been used in thousands of joint replacements' worldwide core technology.

Why did you choose this field?

I studied Biomedical Engineering with an emphasis on Bioinformatics from San Jose State University. I chose this particular field because I was interested in a combination of medical and engineering and it sounded like the best mix of the two.

What do you look at and think, "I wish younger me would have known this was possible"?

I run a clothing brand called The Kaanch with a mission to feature inspiring and empowering women using fashion as a medium. So far we have featured: a robotics engineer, a clinical research manager, a Girl Geek X founder, an engineer from the oil and gas industry and the founder of Day One Response Inc. I wish younger me would have known this many women working in different fields. The purpose of starting The Kaanch was to provide role models from different fields with a touch of fashion that makes everything appealing.

Why do you love working in STEM?

I love working in STEM because of the challenges we face with for example like clinical acceptance (and there are a lot of variations when it comes to each human being and the anatomy).

I have been working at THINK Surgical for almost 5 years and the challenges and great impact this technology will have on patients are what keep me going.

Best advice for next generation?

Just come on board even if you don't see many women in the field you want to pursue. Change the ratio and be the difference.

Inspo quote / fun fact / role model

I like doing DIY and designing clothes.

NOMINATE a woman in STEM

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