New Virginia Tech biomedical engineering degree to focus on technology transfer, health care
Virginia Tech will launch a new undergraduate degree program in biomedical engineering that emphasizes technology transfer, engineering fundamentals, and hands-on learning opportunities, the university announced.Approved by the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia on Sept. 18, the degree will be offered through the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics within the College of Engineering, which currently hosts both master's and doctoral programs in biomedical engineering through a partnership with the Wake Forest School of Medicine, according to the university.
“There's definitely demand for more biomedical engineers across the Commonwealth of Virginia,” said Pamela VandeVord, the N. Waldo Harrison Professor and interim head of the Department of Biomedical Engineering and Mechanics. VandeVord is a BMES member
“Every year we get calls from students who want this degree at Virginia Tech, and every year we have to turn them away,” she said in the article. “We also know that industry representatives are actively recruiting for people who have a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering, so the new program will meet a need expressed by both students and employers.”
The new undergraduate degree will seek to fill a growing niche for a curriculum in biomedical engineering that takes an immersive, in-depth approach to engineering fundamentals. Instead of concentrating instruction in biology and pre-medicine, Virginia Tech's program requires six core courses in fundamental engineering principles.
This approach means students will gain a more comprehensive understanding of broader engineering practice and cross-disciplinary teambuilding, which are both perceived as an advantage in industry.
The goal is that graduating engineers can be fully integrated into diverse health care teams in order to better respond to industry needs. Graduates will be primed for placement in such fields as telemedicine, health care data analytics, personalized medicine, medical robotics, and biomedical device design and regulatory practices, among others.
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