The objective of this proposal is to develop and implement an educational experience that trains undergraduates to work on multidisciplinary teams to design solutions that address challenging, real-world biomedical problems at the interface of engineering and living systems. The proposed training employs pedagogical elements of modeling, scaffolding, coaching and fading to teach design principles. Active learning studio style courses that address responsible conduct in research are coupled with inquiry-based and design laboratories that are supported by faculty and clinical mentors within multidisciplinary and multicultural environments to transform the undergraduate students to practicing engineers well equipped with theoretical knowledge, creativity, ethical behavior, and strong problem solving skills. Within the proposed curriculum, the students fully experience the design process from need identification and idea generation through the iterative process to ultimately resolve the problem. Exposure to principles and successful examples of technology transfer, intellectual property, and commercialization prepare the students to take their design from the classroom to the clinical market. Recruitment activities will specifically target increasing the numbers of students from underrepresented racial, ethnic, and female groups as well as individuals with disabilities and those from disadvantaged backgrounds. Dissemination of findings and best practices will be through conference presentations, journal articles, and the internet.
Our proposed design training will prepare our undergraduate biomedical engineers to work on multidisciplinary teams and effectively generate and contribute to the solution of challenging, complex, real-world clinical and healthcare problems. These students will understand the product cycle, be able to recognize the potential for a new discovery or technology to address a current need, be creative and design solutions to clinical problems, and be prepared to translate their innovations into clinical solutions.
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