Due to the rapid growth in biomedically related industries, there is a crucial need to provide appropriate training for the emerging workforce that will be responsible for translating new devices and technologies from the bench to the bedside. Students need exposure to research, clinical, and industrial environments to provide a solid foundation and understanding of the complex and diverse nature of biomedical engineering. To meet this need, we propose to expand our 6-credit team-based interdisciplinary senior design program to include clinically motivated projects identified during previous clinical immersion experiences. Within the context of the design project the students will identify the significance o the unmet clinical need and impact of finding a practical solution, outline the design constraints, and generate a working prototype as a solution to the unmet clinical need. The goals of this proposal are to (a) translate the unmet clinical needs into open-ended, team-based senior design projects to provide true bench-to-bedside problem solving opportunities, (b) broaden the students exposure and understanding of challenges that are specific to clinical environments while strengthening communication skills with clinical professionals, and (c) evaluate the effectiveness of the incorporation of clinically driven design projects into the senior design program. Ultimately we hope that exposure to guided but open-ended challenges from clinical professionals will broaden the students' understanding of the biomedical field, create effective engineering solutions to address clinical needs, and prepare students for careers in biomedical engineering.
Transforming math, science, and engineering knowledge into real-world solutions to improve healthcare and the development of biomedical technologies requires that biomedical engineering students gain experience beyond the classroom. Students need exposure to research, clinical, and industrial environments to provide a solid foundation and understanding of the complex and diverse nature of biomedical engineering; we propose to do this through the expansion of our 6-credit team-based interdisciplinary senior design program. The current team-based senior design program draws industry and academic sponsored biomedical engineering-based problems and joins biomedical engineering, mechanical engineering, and electrical engineering students together to solve the proposed, open-ended design problems. The expansion of the team-based design program will provide the opportunity for our clinical collaborators to sponsor the design-based problems and will afford the students exposure to clinical settings, identification of unmet clinical needs, and practical understanding of design constraints, ultimately preparing biomedical engineers for today's workforce.