The senior Capstone Design course in Biomedical Engineering is the culminating experience for the students, and the year-long design course provides all project teams with a real-world opportunity to solve an open-ended problem as identified by individuals with disabilities, or by community groups whose mission is to help those with disabilities. Evaluation of the initial course offering indicated an opportunity for improvements in education and team design by expanding the project scope to include expertise from electrical and computer engineering students and mentors. From this new collaboration, students will gain valuable skills from areas outside of their primary field, and itis expected that the level of project design will improve. The overall goal of this program is to buil a dynamic Senior Design program that fosters multi-disciplinary efforts at the student, mentor and University level, and promotes outreach to the disabled community. We plan to accomplish this through the following specific objectives: 1. Require multi-disciplinary teams that will desig, build and test a device. 2. Expand University and community collaborations to include expertise in electrical and computer engineering. 3. Encourage early participation of BME juniors through a summer design program.
Multi-disciplinary teams of engineers and other specialties are typically employed in industry and research to develop the advancements in medical device design. All students in this program will similarly be placed on multi-disciplinary teams, work with students with complementary skills, and design a device with a targeted goal of helping those with disabilities. The proposed improvements to the design course will better prepare graduates to make a significant contribution to the advancement of human health.
This program will build on the initial strengths of the senior Capstone Design course series and expand the project scope to include expertise from electrical and computer engineering students and mentors. This added technical skill will improve the quality of final projects that student teams are able to deliver to the clients with disabilities, and better prepare students for their future biomedical careers. The program also implements a new Summer Design program where juniors can get early design training by refining the devices left by seniors before delivery to the intended clients.