19:57 PM

Ben Leslie named 2024 ASEE CEED Co-op Student of the Year

Balancing 18-credit semesters, leading a hockey team, and conducting research as a college student is no small feat—but on top of it all, one student continues to excel. 

Benjamin Leslie, a senior bioengineering student at the University of Pittsburgh Swanson School of Engineering, was just named the Cooperative & Experiential Education Division of the American Society of Engineering Education (ASEE CEED) 2024 Student of the Year. This competitive national award recognizes excellence among engineering co-op students and includes a cash award and an invitation to ASEE’s 2024 Conference for Industry and Education Collaboration in Garden Grove, CA. 

Leslie was also named SSOE’s Co-op Student of The Year by the Office of Experiential Learning and Professional Engagement (ELPE). He is the sixth Swanson School student to win the CEED award since 2000 - giving Pitt the most wins in the award’s history. Leslie was awarded for his co-op with ZOLL LifeVest, a wearable cardioverter defibrillator that patients wear if they are at risk of sudden cardiac death. 

“The device monitors a patient’s heart using electrocardiograms (ECGs), detects when a shockable arrhythmia is present, then delivers a shock to the patient to restore a normal rhythm,” Leslie said. “I helped design the next-generation LifeVest Garment, which is the device that secures the defibrillator system against the patient’s skin so that the ECGs can monitor the patient’s heart.” 

Along with the co-op, Leslie has conducted research in the Wagner/D’Amore Cardiovascular Engineering Lab at the McGowan Institute for Regenerative Medicine; worked as a medical assistant at the Shadyside Family Health Center; and served as a captain of the Men’s Ice Hockey team, gaining him media attention. After graduating, Leslie plans to attend medical school and work as a physician-innovator at the interface of engineering and medicine. 

“ELPE and the Department of Bioengineering have provided me with overwhelming support and many opportunities, which I am so grateful for,” Leslie said. “I am so lucky to be a part of such a fantastic community and to be able to share this award with them.”