Engineering senior John-William Sidhom is one University student who took his coursework beyond the classroom.

In his first semester at the University, Sidhom developed an artificial hip joint that uses magnets to extend the life of the implant. After accomplishing this engineering feat, which was initially a class project, Sidhom turned his efforts to patenting and marketing. His artificial joint was patented after his freshman year. He then co-founded his company Magnetic Ventures to market the product.

Sidhom is majoring in biomedical engineering and minoring in math, and he has an entrepreneur certificate. Among his many other distinctions, he won MPowered’s 1,000 Pitches competition in the Health category along with several other awards in the Ross School of Business. However, he says he doesn’t consider any of these to be his greatest accomplishment.

“When I got started as a freshman, I got put down a lot as being naïve, as being ignorant,” he said. “I was called clueless. I was called a variety of things from people big and small, from peers and from people who were very well established, and what I’m proud of most is the fact that I didn’t listen to them.

“One thing I can pass to anybody is, if you ever try to do something new, or novel or ambitious, there’s always going to be someone pulling you down.”

Next year, Sidhom will be going to Johns Hopkins University to study in its master’s program in bioengineering innovation and design. The program requires travelling to a Third World country to shadow doctors and produce a device that will help the developing world. The year after, he plans to start a dual medicine and business degree.

This education will help Sidhom achieve his dream of helping doctors better serve their patients. Sidhom said he hopes that the devices he will develop in the future will do just that.

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