Infusion of BME education at CSU and beyond
With an aging population and growing sophistication of medical equipment and technology, employment for biomedical engineers is projected to grow 23 percent from 2014 to 2024, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. With this growth, universities around the country are rethinking the fusion of engineering and medicine.
The University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign is planning a brand new college aimed at infusing engineering education into medical student training. Associate Director for Research at the U. of Illinois Coordinated Science Laboratory, Normand Paquin, believes that this college will create a new type of physician—physician scientists, physician engineers, and physician entrepreneurs. Former Chancellor Phyllis Wise spoke at a CSU seminar in October 2016 and shared her vision of this new college.
Texas A&M is planning an innovative engineering medical school, EnMed, at Houston Methodist Hospital. This school will prepare a new type of doctor who not only practices medicine, but can also solve problems and invent technology with an engineering mindset. According to Texas A&M Engineering Vice Chancellor and Dean of Engineering M. Katherine Banks, this new type of doctor or “physicianeer” will have a traditional engineering background (e.g. mechanical, chemical, electrical) as well as bioengineering education.
The School of Biomedical Engineering at Colorado State is proud to be the first ABET-accredited undergraduate biomedical engineering degree in the country that has an obligatory tie to a partner degree in chemical and biological engineering, electrical engineering, or mechanical engineering. Already on the cutting edge of this new mix of education, the SBME is proud to boast its strong collaborative ties with CSU’s veterinary school, which is ranked No. 3 in the country according to U.S. News and World Report.
In addition, the Wayne McIlwraith Translational Medicine Institute is expected to open at CSU in the fall of 2018 with an emphasis on stem cell biology and therapeutics. We are getting closer to the day when we can fuse biomedical engineering research and education for clinical students of all types.
We look forward to providing our students with resources to help them explore new occupations that combine medicine and engineering. If you would like to learn more about these programs, I can be reached at Stuart.Tobet@colostate.edu.
Stuart Tobet, Ph.D.