Bourque Plants His Seeds Kevin Bourque grew up in Salem, Mass., and if anything was a trial for vexations, it was AP Calculus his senior year of high school. He entered UMass-Lowell uncertain how his dreams of working in something biomedical would work out. He left school with his bachelor's and master's degrees in mechanical engineering, 'which I definitely do not regret.' And then it was time to get to work. 'My first job out of school, I worked on a diagnostics MRI at a small startup company that ended up going under,' Bourque said. 'Just before it dipped under the water, I jumped and got this job in 1997. I'm coming up on my 25th anniversary here. I started at Thermocardio Systems, which was acquired by Thoratec and then St. Jude Medical which was acquired by Abbott. So without moving my desk ...' Another thought enters. 'I still have my original stapler. This is my original stapler.' In case you were wondering. The names have changed, but the work has remained essentially the same: Keep building better devices to help weakening hearts pump the oxygen-rich blood their bodies need.