Grace College Alumnus Helps to Better Lives in the Orthopaedic Engineering Industry
Grace College 2021 engineering graduate Cody Holmes grew up on a farm in Wabash, Indiana, and thought that his future was in mechanical engineering for an agriculture company. But his plans changed during his sophomore year at Grace College when he realized he wanted to maximize his impact in the world. Now working as a new product introduction development engineer in Upper Extremities at Zimmer Biomet, Holmes has found a niche in the industry where he plays a role in bettering peoples’ lives every day.
Holmes was drawn to Grace College first for the opportunity to play basketball. But it was the combination of basketball and a solid engineering program that made Grace the clear choice. Engineering was what Holmes aspired to do since he was young.
”Like a lot of people in Indiana, I was raised on a farm, and so I was exposed to a lot of mechanical things,” said Holmes. “I was always taking things apart and putting things back together – it’s the same story you hear from most engineers – but instead of taking my pencil apart, I was taking a tractor apart and figuring out how to put it back together. I always thought that I could design things better, and I figured I could use my knowledge to design new things.”
Holmes had his sights set on working for a company like John Deere or Caterpillar. This led him to an internship at the Ford Meter Box Company, a water works company in his hometown of Wabash. Through the internship, Holmes was able to design a couple of small machines and update existing ones.
“I had a great experience and learned a lot, but at the end of the day, I felt like God was calling me to something different, something where I could better serve His people with my skills,” said Holmes.
Holmes talked to his adviser, Dr. Fred Wentorf, director of the Department of Engineering at Grace, about his desire to make an impact in the world. Wentorf, who has 11 years of experience in orthopaedic engineering, told him there is no better career for an engineer who wants to make an impact than to design things that are going into the human body.
Holmes took Wentorf’s words to heart and took an internship at WishBone Medical, Inc. after his junior year. That was just the beginning of Holmes’ opportunities in the Orthopaedic Capital of the World. After his summer internship ended, Holmes took a paid internship with WishBone before he had the chance to work at Ignite Orthopaedics part-time throughout his senior year.
A few months before graduation in 2021, one of Holmes’ professors, Nolan Jones, told him about his current role at Zimmer Biomet. Now, Holmes’ daily work involves designing new instrumentation and implants for shoulders and elbows.
“I feel as though I’m helping people every day,” said Holmes. “While I’m not putting the implants in myself, the culmination of all the work we do for two to three years on a project eventually comes to the end goal of putting that implant into somebody’s shoulder to improve their life, ease their pain and allow them to move more efficiently.”
Holmes enjoys being presented with a problem, understanding the details of the issue and figuring it out – something he gained valuable experience in during his time at Grace and as an intern.
“The professors at Grace do an excellent job of making the work applicable,” said Holmes. “We did a ton of engineering projects where you were solving real-life engineering programs that didn’t have answers in the back of the book. As a new engineer, that is a critical skill to have – being able to solve problems that don’t have answers readily available.”
Holmes is currently exploring opportunities for the Grace Engineering program to partner with Zimmer Biomet in the future. Although he just graduated in 2021, Holmes has already been back to Grace a few times to share his knowledge and experiences with students who sit where he sat not long ago.
According to Holmes, the chance to pour back into the students is a privilege. “Anything to give back to the program…I’m more than happy to.”
Learn more about the bachelor’s degree in engineering at Grace at www.grace.edu/major/
Photo Attached: Grace College engineering alumnus, Cody Holmes of Wabash, Indiana, now works as a new product introduction development engineer in Upper Extremities at Zimmer Biomet.