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Core Competencies for Undergraduates in Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering: Findings, Consequences, and Recommendations

journal contribution
posted on 2021-07-20, 20:13 authored by JA White, DP Gaver, RJ Butera, B Choi, MJ Dunlop, KJ Grande-Allen, A Grosberg, RW Hitchcock, AY Huang-Saad, Miiri KotcheMiiri Kotche, AM Kyle, AL Lerner, JH Linehan, RA Linsenmeier, MI Miller, JA Papin, L Setton, A Sgro, ML Smith, M Zaman, AP Lee
This paper provides a synopsis of discussions related to biomedical engineering core curricula that occurred at the Fourth BME Education Summit held at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio in May 2019. This summit was organized by the Council of Chairs of Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering, and participants included over 300 faculty members from 100+ accredited undergraduate programs. This discussion focused on six key questions: QI: Is there a core curriculum, and if so, what are its components? QII: How does our purported core curriculum prepare students for careers, particularly in industry? QIII: How does design distinguish BME/BIOE graduates from other engineers? QIV: What is the state of engineering analysis and systems-level modeling in BME/BIOE curricula? QV: What is the role of data science in BME/BIOE undergraduate education? QVI: What core experimental skills are required for BME/BIOE undergrads? s. Indeed, BME/BIOI core curricula exists and has matured to emphasize interdisciplinary topics such as physiology, instrumentation, mechanics, computer programming, and mathematical modeling. Departments demonstrate their own identities by highlighting discipline-specific sub-specialties. In addition to technical competence, Industry partners most highly value our students’ capacity for problem solving and communication. As such, BME/BIOE curricula includes open-ended projects that address unmet patient and clinician needs as primary methods to prepare graduates for careers in industry. Culminating senior design experiences distinguish BME/BIOE graduates through their development of client-centered engineering solutions to healthcare problems. Finally, the overall BME/BIOE curriculum is not stagnant—it is clear that data science will become an ever-important element of our students’ training and that new methods to enhance student engagement will be of pedagogical importance as we embark on the next decade.



White, J. A., Gaver, D. P., Butera, R. J., Choi, B., Dunlop, M. J., Grande-Allen, K. J., Grosberg, A., Hitchcock, R. W., Huang-Saad, A. Y., Kotche, M., Kyle, A. M., Lerner, A. L., Linehan, J. H., Linsenmeier, R. A., Miller, M. I., Papin, J. A., Setton, L., Sgro, A., Smith, M. L.Lee, A. P. (2020). Core Competencies for Undergraduates in Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering: Findings, Consequences, and Recommendations. Annals of Biomedical Engineering, 48(3), 905-912.


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