1. Graduates draw upon their biomedical engineering foundations to perform experimental measurement, quantitative analysis, and engineering design.
2. Graduates use tools and methods at the current state-of-the-art in biomedical engineering.
3. Graduates apply problem solving abilities and multidisciplinary perspectives to understand and advance scientific discoveries and technological innovations.
4. Graduates act to improve global and human health.
5. Graduates exhibit intellectual curiosity, creativity, leadership and continuous personal growth.
Program Description Biomedical engineering is built upon the premise that the tools and methods of engineering can be used to improve human health and enhance our understanding of the biological world. Biomedical engineering education integrates mathematics, science, engineering methodology, and engineering design to train individuals who are uniquely prepared for the collaborative challenges of this field. The end result of this type of training is knowledge, devices, materials, techniques and treatments to enhance human health. The foundation for these applications is the steady stream of discovery emerging from our nation’s academic and industrial research programs.
The Department of Biomedical Engineering (BME) has offered degrees at the master’s and doctoral level since 1967. BME introduced a new bachelor’s of science degree in biomedical engineering in 2003. The major begins with an early, sound underpinning in the life sciences via two semesters of quantitative mammalian physiology and one semester of cell and molecular biology. Engineering fundamentals follow, taught in the context of biomedical engineering examples in systems analysis, biomechanics and biotransport, and computational systems. In the 3rd year BME majors complete a two-semester IDEAS Lab, integrating concepts and skills from prior BME and other engineering course work. The BME major culminates in the 4th year with a capstone design project where students undertake a year-long “design-and-build” or “design-of-experiment” project. Throughout all four years, electives offer additional breadth and depth.
Exceptionally prepared students can graduate in five years with both a B.S. and an M.S. in biomedical engineering. These students should plan early to design a senior thesis topic that can continue on to a master’s of science thesis. Students interested in this option are strongly urged to plan early in their 3rd year and discuss this plan with appropriate faculty in biomedical engineering.
The department encourages students to participate in research and inquiry-based learning above and beyond what is required by the curriculum. In the past students have pursued paid or volunteer positions in research labs, “for-credit” independent research projects, and industry or research internships. Research areas in the department include tissue engineering and genetic engineering targeting vascular disease; adhesion biomechanics, molecular bioengineering, cellular mechanics, and vascular remodeling; cellular mechanisms of wound healing; biomechanics; bioelectricity; biotransport; cardiovascular, respiratory, orthopedic, and neurological systems; and medical imaging, particularly ultrasound, X-ray, and MR imaging. Interdepartmental research collaboration links BME with most other School of Engineering and Applied Science departments and many clinical and basic science departments in the School of Medicine and the College of Arts and Sciences.
Biomedical engineers contribute to society from positions in universities, hospitals, government, the medical device and pharmaceutical industries, and a broad range of research enterprises. As the discipline grows, BME graduates are finding that their broad education provides an excellent platform from which to launch rewarding careers; begin graduate studies in biomedical engineering, biotechnology, or biophysics; or pursue advanced degrees in medicine, law, and business.
Because of the need to maintain an excellent laboratory experience for each student, enrollment in the program is limited to 70 students per year. Admission is based on space availability, academic performance, a personal essay, and diversity broadly defined. Application forms are available from the Office of the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Programs (Room A-122) of Thornton Hall.