For technical acumen that delivers novel lifesaving medical devices; for demonstrating leadership that motivates and inspires others; and for elevating SWE both at work and through her service.
Claire Rydeen is a program manager and core team leader with Medtronic, ensuring the quality of new products that alleviate pain, restore health, and extend life for patients worldwide. In this role, she leads a new product development program designing solutions for the 1 million patients each year who need temporary pacing of their hearts.
Rydeen prioritizes innovation, challenging her team to an intellectual property (IP) brainstorm that resulted in 14 IP submissions in September 2021, three of which moved on to patent applications (one of them her own). She and the team completed 18 IP submissions in January 2022, two of which moved on to patent applications. Rydeen’s IP was approved for the next stage of evaluation.
Prior to her current role, Rydeen led the quality function for three technology programs: a next-generation defibrillation lead; next-generation catheter delivery system; and a novel implantable system to treat patients with pulmonary arterial hypertension. When one project experienced an early test failure, business leadership questioned whether the use condition “would happen in the field.” Taking a hands-on approach, Rydeen demonstrated how easily the use condition could happen during a device replacement. Based on her feedback, a design change was made. In the next preclinical study, an engineer observed that the doctor made the same motion Rydeen had demonstrated. Her quick thinking reduced potential failures in the field.
Taking on new responsibility in quality, she achieved the prestigious cardiac device specialist certification through the International Board of Heart Rhythm Examiners and green belt certification through Medtronic’s design, reliability, and manufacturing program.
Previously, Rydeen worked as a field clinical specialist, supporting physicians with the implantation and follow-up of pacemakers and implantable defibrillators within clinical trials.
Rydeen joined the SWE collegiate section during her first year at the University of Minnesota and was elected president her senior year. She currently serves on the Society program development grants (PDG) committee. She also leads the SWE-Minnesota professional section as president. At Medtronic, Rydeen served as chair of the FY21 SWEnet Twin Cities employee resource group and led professional development for the FY20 SWEnet global employee resource group. In recognition of her service, she received the WE Local New ELiTE Award in 2021 and Medtronic’s SWEnet Contributor of the Year Award in 2020.
Rydeen has a passion for mentorship, STEM outreach, and education, serving as a board member for the nonprofit SciMathMN and secretary for the Friends of the Pierre Bottineau Library. She also volunteers for Project Success, a Minneapolis nonprofit.
She holds a B.BmE. and an M.S. in biomedical engineering from the University of Minnesota. She enjoys reading, playing volleyball, collecting postcards, and attempting to bake sourdough bread.