Milestone year for the CSU School of Biomedical Engineering
The School of Biomedical Engineering (SBME) at Colorado State University is proud to celebrate its 10th anniversary as a graduate degree-granting program. Tenth anniversaries are often celebrated as evidence of flexibility and durability with tin or aluminum; in BME this might be nitinol or polydimethylsiloxane. SBME was built on a foundation of excellence in four colleges, including the Colleges of Engineering, Health and Human Sciences, Natural Sciences, and Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. We celebrate our interdisciplinary commitment to improve health, fight disease, and aid persons with disabilities. Our flexibility is highlighted by continued expansion to new research horizons over the last ten years. The faculty has grown from 29 core faculty in 2007 to almost 50 core faculty today, with more planned. Our durability is revealed in the vibrant growth of student enrollment and by progression to the top half of biomedical engineering programs in the country based on U.S. News & World Report.
One interesting anniversary relatable to biomedical engineering is the origin of the novel Frankenstein, a story of technology jumping ethical (and technical) boundaries. Mary Shelley started writing her Frankenstein in the summer of 1817. According to the introduction of the 1831 edition, discussions in the Shelley household included principles of life and the idea that a corpse could be re-animated based on work of Luigi Galvani (1791). It was an “electric debate” between Galvani and Alessandro Volta that some believe led to today’s electrophysiology. It is not hard to argue that technology in biomedical engineering can be traced to these early thoughts that can be seen in the repair or replacement of organs with stem cells, or the sensors and stimulators of numerous bodily functions. Appealing to a wide audience, Shelley’s literary work and the concepts inherent within continue to ignite tough ethical and scientific questions about biomedical technologies today.
The Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES), a professional society devoted to promoting biomedical engineering world-wide, will also celebrate its 50th anniversary in 2018. In this magical year of 2017-18 perhaps new “firsts” will be established for celebrations in future years!
I welcome your participation, insights, questions, and ideas surrounding this milestone year. You can reach me at 970-491-7157 or Stuart.Tobet@colostate.edu.
Stuart Tobet, Director