How a heart condition led co-op to engineering

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Follow your heart.

It’s a saying we hear all the time, and for many of us, it simply means to do what makes you happy. For Yasmeen Bazzi, a student co-op in DTE Energy’s data quality management group, the saying had a completely different meaning.Yasmeen Bazzi

In 2008, Bazzi was diagnosed with a heart condition called Atrial Septal Defect. The condition left her with a hole between the right and left chambers of her heart.

“My heart literally skipped a beat,” she said. “And it was twice the size of a normal heart.”

There were only two options to fix it, doctors told her: open heart surgery or a device. After deciding on an implaster device, Bazzi delved into research on the technology that would save her life.

“It was created by an engineer,” she learned. “The echocardiogram the doctors used to study my heart – it was also created by an engineer.  I knew right then I wanted to be an engineer.”

Bazzi followed her heart all the way to an engineering degree from Wayne State University. After almost four years with DTE, she will transition into a full-time position in DO engineering in March.

“I love what I do. I’ve worked on maybe 45 different projects – smart meters, continuous improvement, claims, storm,” she said. “It’s engineering, but it’s engineering with a twist. You get to touch everything.”

Bazzi plans to further her studies, possibly pursuing a master’s degree in biomedical engineering.

“People in the medical field save lives, but they need tools to do it,” Bazzi said. “I feel like I owe it to BME, because that’s where my heart is.”

February is American Heart Month and an ideal time to raise awareness about heart health. You’re in the driver’s seat when it comes to your heart. Learn how to be heart healthy.