BME M.Eng. Program Update

Fall, 2016

Improving upon something already great is always a challenge, but Newton de Faria, the Meinig School’s professor of practice and Master of Engineering (M. Eng.) program director, is focused on just such a task. Specifically, in a quest to make the program the best of its kind, de Faria has been working this past year to strengthen the program’s three P's: People (incoming students), Process (program), and Product (graduates). 

“We are not only looking for the best and brightest,” de Faria says of the improved processes for recruiting and selecting new students into the program, “but also for individuals with diverse academic and cultural backgrounds who are capable of fulfilling the needs of a broad and diverse healthcare industry.” 

Part of recruiting these top-level individuals includes presenting them with an engaging and inspiring curriculum. Center to the Meinig School’s M.Eng. program is a design project—typically sponsored by academic and clinical institutions. De Faria’s outreach efforts have focused on bringing in sponsors from industry, humanitarian, and community outreach organizations. These projects offer students depth in learning principles of sciences and engineering, as well as unparalleled opportunities to design products with real-world impact and develop professional leadership skills. “The goal of the design project,” says de Faria, “is to provide students a rich academic and professional exercise as well as deliver value to the project sponsors.” Improvements to this part of the program include streamlined processes for soliciting and selecting projects and sponsors, as well as targeted placement of students within teams addressing these projects. 

Incoming students also benefit from another program development supporting these design projects, that of a newly-enhanced infrastructure including the addition of multiple collaborative environments including a student lounge, a design studio, dry and wet laboratories, and a fabrication laboratory. Each space is designed specifically to catalyze team-building and creativity, as well as cross-fertilization of ideas. The program has also acquired many different hardware and software technologies, such as high-performance computers, multiple design-enabling software platforms, 3-D printers, a CNC machine, a surface mounted electronic circuit station, and many other tools for building prototype products. 

Finally, all of these improvements to the M.Eng. program at the Meinig School culminate in graduates with real-world problem-solving skills specific to the biomedical field. “By training students to understand and communicate their acquired marketable skills,” says de Faria, “they are best able to inform potential employers about the quality and value our M.Eng. graduates bring, enhancing the student placement overall.”

With these improvements and more to come, de Faria expects the program will continue to meet and exceed its goal to train and place students as professional biomedical engineers who can both identify unmet clinical needs and apply that knowledge to invent, design, develop, and deploy innovative medical technologies for the benefit of the organizations they serve and humanity in general.

The Meinig School's Master of Engineering (M.Eng.) program focuses on engineering practice and design. Our goal is to prepare students for professional practice in BME For outstanding students who are interested in entrepreneurship and engineering, Our M.Eng. students acquire a broad perspective of the biomedical engineering discipline that complements their undergraduate training in engineering or science, and an in-depth knowledge of an essential area in biomedical engineering. In addition to coursework, students complete a collaborative design project. 

Graduates are equipped to design biomedical devices and develop therapeutic strategies within the bounds of health care economics, the needs of patients and physicians, the regulatory environment for medical devices and pharmaceuticals, and stringent ethical standards of biomedical engineering practice. Our M.Eng. program incorporates industry-oriented training using a design-centric approach to prepare students for a wide range of careers in medicine, academia, and industry from large pharmaceutical firms to entrepreneurial startups.