New OEM Engineer Mason Caplin Joins the Team
An unusually high aptitude for solving problems isn’t unusual for an engineer, but new Transonic Inside team member Mason Caplin has an edge: a strong sense of empathy combined with unique experiences that exposed him to different perspectives.
According to Caplin, his thirst for learning and his exposure to diverse perspectives and situations are what enable him to be a creative problem solver. He explained that memorization is difficult for him, but if you give him a problem, he’ll pull from his diverse experience and education to solve it, even if it’s not inherent to the type of work he’s been doing.
“My memory is okay but my ability to solve problems is how I make it through life,” he said.
His experience as a day student at an international boarding school exposed him to students from over 50 countries and therefore a wide array of cultural backgrounds, languages and religions, creating a curiosity about people of diverse perspectives that would impact his future studies, projects and career.
Caplin’s experience as a college student at Tulane College in New Orleans is a perfect example of how his curiosity about other people informed his academic and career choices. In addition to taking the classes he needed to earn degrees in biomedical engineering and computer science with a minor in management, he also took American Sign Language (ASL).
When he learned that the Deaf community has strong opinions about the medical world, such as the cochlear implant, he realized the importance of understanding one's patients versus “going full steam ahead,” only to realize your “great idea” is something no one wants to use. “You can’t be this kind of floating brain in the sky that gives solutions to people. You have to talk to them,” said Caplin.
Caplin graduated with 201.5 credits in 4 years, even though he only needed 120 to graduate. Then, with only three weeks to study for the MCAT, he managed to score in the 99th% percentile before hopping on a plane to Israel to do an internship at Biomedical Research Lab at Tel Aviv University.
This was a life-changing experience for him. As someone with Jewish heritage, it was one thing to study about Israel, but living there is different. “It's no longer an academic study,” he explained.
Today, Caplin continues to educate himself on the perspectives of others by reading about various issues around patient-centered work—such as women having bad experiences with dismissive doctors—and uses his cultural experiences to inform how he approaches patient-driven technology.
Caplin was initially drawn to Transonic’s focus on innovation and the diverse nature of the work. Working with the wide variety of products and technologies offered by Transonic Inside customers provides the perfect opportunity for Mason to apply his many talents and further develop his skill set. His desire is to exceed the limits of being “just a person with a biomedical degree” to being “the guy who answers the weird questions.”
Although Caplin could have chosen many fields, the “inherent good” in biomedical engineering is what drew him to the field. He doesn’t need to have his name attached to his achievements, though. He enjoys being a “stepping stone” for someone else while having a large-scale impact that includes saving lives, perhaps even the life of a child who will go on to do great things for the world.
“If 10 years from now, I develop some amazing technology that helps people and can be spread around the world, that’s amazing!”