Introduction to Biomedical Engineering Design and Discovery

CUNY City College

In 1967, the School of Medicine and the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences at the University of Virginia teamed to form one of the first Departments of Biomedical Engineering (BME) in the country. Over the past thirty-five years, the department has focused on graduate education, developing strong doctoral and masters programs while carrying out world class research. In 2000, the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS) added a BME minor to supplement existing traditional majors. This venture met with success, and has led to the development of a BME major within SEAS. In fall 2002, the principal investigator obtained preliminary approval for the BME major curriculum.

The first course of the BME major is Introduction to Biomedical Engineering Design and Discovery. First offered in fall 2002, the course provides students with theoretical and practical design experience, an overview of issues relating to entrepreneurship in BME, and an introduction to the discipline. Within the first few weeks of class, students identify problems in the field of BME that they wish to address through their semester long design project. They then form design teams based on interest and backgrounds. The major student effort in the class is toward E-Team development of a novel device, method, program, or experiment. Whenever possible, teams develop prototypes to prove design feasibility. The second segment of the class focuses on tackling the issues involved in developing a new product in BME. The course covers basic management tools including Gantt charts, critical path diagrams, and criteria for team selection. Students attend lectures on intellectual property, entrepreneurship, and regulatory issues. The third segment of the class serves as an introduction to the BME discipline. At the end of the course, E-Teams present their final projects to a group of faculty and local entrepreneurs. This grant provides E-Team seed money, student team travel, speaker honoraria, equipment, tools, and a stereo microscope