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BIOMEDICAL ENGINEERING AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI

The Department of Biomedical Engineering at the University of Miami offers an undergraduate program leading to the Bachelor of Science (B.S.) degree. The undergraduate BME program was the first of its kind in Florida, with the first class of B.S.B.E. students graduating in 1993. The program has been accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission (EAC) of the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) since 1997.

Graduates of the biomedical engineering undergraduate program find employment in industry or continue their studies either in graduate school or in a professional school in medicine and other health-related disciplines (such as dentistry, optometry, orthotics), law or business.

Some special features of the program include the small class size and open-door policy of the faculty, which facilitates student-faculty interaction. The Department has very strong ties with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine. Undergraduate students have a wide range of research and internship opportunities in some of the leading research laboratories in their respective field. The Department strongly encourages undergraduate student participation in research and professional activities.

The Bachelor of Science Program in Biomedical Engineering is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET — www.abet.org.

   

EDUCATIONAL OBJECTIVES

The educational objectives of the program are to graduate engineers who will apply their knowledge, technical skills, and ability to solve problems at the interface of engineering and life sciences. Within a few years after graduation they will:

  1. pursue professional careers in the biomedical or health related industry and/or
  2. engage in lifelong learning through the pursuit of graduate or professional degrees.

STUDENT OUTCOMES

a: An ability to apply knowledge of mathematics, science and engineering
Apply knowledge of mathematics to formulate and solve relevant engineering problems and apply knowledge of science and engineering fundamentals to formulate and solve relevant engineering problems.

b: An ability to design and conduct experiments, as well as analyze and interpret data
Demonstrate an ability to conduct laboratory experiments; demonstrate an ability to analyze and interpret experimental data, and demonstrate an ability to design experiments.

c: An ability to design a system, component, or process to meet desired needs within realistic constraints such as economic, environmental, social, political, health, and safety, manufacturability and sustainability
Demonstrate an ability to identify needs and realistic constraints and demonstrate an ability to design systems, components and processes encountered in engineering practice.

d: An ability to function on multi-disciplinary teams
Work effectively in teams comprised of individuals of different interests and personalities.

e: An ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems
Demonstrate an ability to identify engineering problems, demonstrate an ability to formulate engineering problems and demonstrate an ability to solve engineering problems.

f: An understanding of professional and ethical responsibility
To know and understand professional and ethical codes; to demonstrate an ability to apply professional and ethical codes and know and understand safety/protection issues.

g: An ability to communicate effectively
The skill to convey ideas and thoughts using an appropriate medium speech, text, graphs, algorithms, charts. There are two levels of this skill: convey the ideas and thoughts correctly and do so in an easy to understand and attractive manner.

h: The broad education necessary to understand the impact of engineering solutions in a global, environmental, and societal context
To be aware of and have an ability to predict the impact of engineering solutions in a global, economic, environmental and societal context.

i: A recognition of the need for, and an ability to engage in life-long learning
This outcome is split into two parts as suggested by Mourots, 2003: recognition of the need for lifelong learning and ability to engage in lifelong learning.

j: A knowledge of contemporary issues
Has knowledge of contemporary technical, scientific, socio-economic, environmental and political issues, especially those that could influence engineering practice.

k: An ability to use the techniques, skills, and modern engineering tools necessary for engineering practice
Has the ability to use appropriate computer software to solve biomedical engineering problems and evaluate solutions. Ability to use of equipment and procedures that are used in biomedical engineering projects.

ENROLLMENT AND GRADUATE STATISTICS

UNDERGRADUATE CURRICULUM

The three educational objectives of the Biomedical Engineering program are achieved via the implementation of a curriculum with four parallel concentrations which include a common core and concentration-specific courses. The core curriculum is designed to provide a broad foundation in the basic sciences and in engineering. Concentration-specific courses provide the depth required to be proficient engineers.

The four concentrations are Electrical (E), Mechanical (M), Biomaterials and Tissue (B) and Premedical (P). The Premed concentration satisfies the requirements for admission to medical school (see Pre-medical Advising and Requirements) and provides depth in the area of biomaterials and tissue engineering. The curriculum is designed to provide all graduates with the analytical and design skills required to formulate and solve problems at the interface of engineering and life sciences. Outstanding students are prepared for graduate studies or medical school.

Required courses in the humanities and social sciences provide students with an awareness of social, ethical and environmental issues related to their profession. The curriculum has been carefully designed with the prerequisite structure in mind so that students have to draw from previously acquired knowledge to complete the upper level course requirements successfully. The curriculum includes two or three technical electives selected by the student based on their individual professional interests.

The curriculum places a special emphasis on written and oral communication skills. Many of the Biomedical Engineering courses, as well as the capstone design project, include a requirement for a written term paper and oral presentation on a course-related topic related to the class. Click here to see the Undergraduate Course Sequence.

UNDERGRADUATE DESIGN AND LABORATORY EXPERIENCE

The biomedical engineering design experience is integrated in the curriculum throughout the four years of study, starting in the freshman year with the Introduction to Biomedical Engineering course. Each semester includes classroom or laboratory courses which place a heavy emphasis on theoretical and practical biomedical engineering design concepts. The design experience culminates in the senior year with a year-long capstone Senior Design Project. The Senior Design Project is typically completed by teams of two students who build on their knowledge and previous design experience to solve one major design problem which integrates the various components of the curriculum. The senior project starts in the second semester of the junior year with a 1-credit course which covers the basic principles of biomedical engineering design.

The curriculum includes a Technical Entrepreneurship course which can serve as an alternative to the Senior Design Project. The students form entrepreneurial teams of 4 to 6 members to design and develop new products, including a business or commercialization plan. This course was established with a grant from the National Collegiate Innovators and Inventors Alliance (NCIIA) in 1999 and it is currently supported by additional grants from NCIIA.

Biomedical Engineering students have open access to teaching laboratories which are used for the laboratory courses and design projects. The laboratory equipment and instructional modules are geared towards instruction in the areas of tissue mechanics, instrumentation, measurements, biomedical optics, physiological signals, among others.

UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH AND INTERNSHIPS 

The Department of Biomedical Engineering promotes the participation of undergraduate students in research. Many of our undergraduate students conduct research in laboratories at the Department of Biomedical Engineering and at the School of Medicine, or are hired as research or engineering interns by the local biomedical industry. Click here to see list of current undergraduate student research activities.

 

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