Georgia Burgess: Merging Engineering and Health Care

Original Article by University Communications

Georgia Burgess has accomplished many things at NC State. She’s a Park Scholar and an ambassador for the Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering (ISE) department, and she served as the director for the 2020 Krispy Kreme Challenge, to name a few. But the driving force behind her success is her commitment to showing up for others.

“Investment in humanity is one of the most important things that anyone can do,” she says. “It creates this really positive cycle — whenever you put time into people, people are able to put time into other people.”

Georgia Burgess standing outside of Fitts-Woolard Hall wearing an NC State sweatshirt.

This service-first mentality has characterized Burgess’ time at NC State.

In the summer of 2018, she participated in the Ulman Cancer Fund’s 4K for Cancer. She ran from San Francisco to New York with a team of 21 people, stopping to volunteer at cancer centers along the way. At the centers, she spent time learning about the patients’ lives and their aspirations both before and after their hospitalization.

The experience solidified her interest in working in the health care field. “The coolest thing that I think doctors do is giving people the ability to go and live their lives,” she said.

More recently, she worked with the PackVax on-campus vaccination clinics. Her role consisted of converting the information provided by health systems-focused ISE faculty and the director of Student Health Services, Dr. Julie Casani, into mathematical models to reduce wait times. The experience taught her that engineers and health care professionals “speak two different languages.”

“The thing about NC State that I love so much is that everyone here really does care about you.”

Georgia Burgess

Burgess’ goal is to apply engineering problem-solving to health care challenges.

“I really love patient care and engineering, and I love being able to bridge them to make it so that health care is more accessible and equal among all people in the U.S.,” she said.

After graduation, Burgess plans to work as a medical assistant at a family practice in Cary, North Carolina, before applying to medical school. She was initially uncertain about straying from a more traditional engineering path, but was met with nothing but support from faculty, staff and peers.

“The thing about NC State that I love so much is that everyone here really does care about you,” she said. “If there is something you’re interested in regardless of how obscure, someone here is doing it or someone here can point you to someone that’s doing it. Everyone wants to see you pursue your own passions.”

Can’t get enough of Georgia Burgess? Check out this Park Scholars article, December Graduate Spotlight: Georgia Burgess ’21.