Santa Clara University

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BioEngineering Program Launched

Capitalizing on the promise of bioengineering to improve the lives of all people in direct and diverse ways, the School of Engineering has partnered with the College of Arts and Sciences to launch an interdisciplinary undergraduate program in bioengineering.

Electrical Engineering Chair Samiha Mourad led a task force composed of faculty from both schools to establish the program, which is designed to prepare students for careers in the medical-device and biotechnology industries, biomedical research, graduate studies in bioengineering, or entry into medical school. The curriculum integrates engineering analysis and design with the necessary background in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics.

Bioengineering, the fastest-growing segment of engineering today, is defined as the application of electrical, chemical, mechanical, and other engineering principles to understand, modify, or control biological systems. Arthroscopic surgical tools, genomics, and MRI and CAT (CT) scanning systems are just a few examples of bioengineering advances.

To participate in the program, students choose between two options: a concentration in bioengineering within the general engineering major, or a minor in biomedical engineering. “This program is fulfilling a real need for our undergraduate students,” said Professor Timothy Hight, program director and mechanical engineering chair. He cited Santa Clara University’s Silicon Valley location as an ideal spot to study bioengineering as this region is home to some of the most innovative biotechnology and medical device companies in the world. “Extending beyond the classroom, the opportunity for internships and hands-on industrial and technical experience here is remarkable,” he said.

The program has been enthusiastically received from the outset, drawing over 20 majors and minors in its inaugural year. Visit the program's Web site for more information.