What are the Objectives of the Bioengineering Applications Specialty?

The Bioengineering Applications Specialty addresses some of the unique engineering challenges found in biomedical equipment manufacturing and crash safety. The basic philosophy is twofold:

First - to deepen the knowledge base of the Mechanical Engineering students in the following areas:Bioengineering surgery

  • Materials - Metals, Polymers
  • Design - Machine Design, Computer-Aided Design, Finite Element Analysis
  • Manufacturing - Design for Manufacturing

Second – to provide the students with a basic knowledge of medical applications of engineering, automotive bioengineering (crash safety), and medical product design.

This specialty is designed to give the students an introduction to the field of Medical Engineering without jeopardizing the fundamentals of the ME discipline. Students with this specialty graduates as Mechanical Engineers. At the same time, the combination of this specialty and the student's extensive co-op exposure at a biomedical firm will give them strong qualifications for a biomedical-related career.

The "Introduction to Bioengineering Applications" course explores the mechanics of various medical equipment and devices whose proper design would require both knowledge of engineering and physiology. This course provides the students with the basic terms and concepts of medical engineering. Students may than select three courses from a list of five, two of which are related to Crash Safety with the balance in the area of Biology and Anatomy/Physiology.

The projects for the final Bioengineering course in capstone design are collected from medical and biomedical companies and presented to the student teams for analysis and design. The students' documented work is available to the participating companies.

Is it for Me?

Engineers have historically made great contributions to the advancement of medical diagnostic and therapeutic sciences.  Biomedical problems are often exciting challenges for engineering solutions.  The knowledge that engineers have been perfecting over many years is sometimes underutilized in medical fields.  This provides great opportunities for the application of engineering fundamentals and skills alike.

For example, in the orthopedics field, various implants are designed by engineers in collaboration with surgeons. Engineers also play a significant role in the development of new bio-compatible materials and suitable manufacturing processes for various medical devices. Kettering University works with a number of corporate employers in fields such as Electromedical, Ophthalmic, Orthopedics, Prosthetics, Surgical Instruments, and Health Services.

Kettering Crash Safety Center

Is a Co-op Job in the Bioengineering Field Required?

“Absolutely not! It may be “ideal”, but it’s nowhere near a necessity. When you’re getting your education, you want to get good engineering experience out of your co-op employment – period. Think of it this way: Good engineering experience is valuable no matter what field of engineering you end up working in. It will serve you in any field you pursue. Keep this truth in mind – while bioengineering may be your goal right now, nobody can predict how their interests may change over the years. Therefore, any co-op employer where you get an opportunity to gain good engineering experience is a good co-op employer.”  ~ Prof. Atkinson

If you have any questions about the Bioengineering Applications Specialty, please contact any of the following faculty:

Dr. Patrick Atkinson
Dr. Janet Brelin-Fornari
Dr. Massoud Tavakoli