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A Biomedical Engineering Research Experiences For Undergraduates Program At Purdue University

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2002 Annual Conference


Montreal, Canada

Publication Date

June 16, 2002

Start Date

June 16, 2002

End Date

June 19, 2002



Conference Session

Industry Participation and Ethics in BME

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.11.1 - 7.11.6

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Paper Authors

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Thomas J. Webster

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Karen Haberstroh

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

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Session 2309

A Biomedical Engineering Research Experiences for Undergraduates Program at Purdue University

Karen M. Haberstroh, and Thomas J. Webster

Department of Biomedical Engineering Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1296


A recent study by the U.S. Department of Labor concluded that highest need for engineers in the next decade will be in the biomedical sector, with 33% more jobs projected by the year 20081. Clearly, programs are needed to increase the number of qualified and diverse engineers trained in biological sciences and/or medicine for the year 2008. For this purpose, the objective of the present study was to increase exposure and interest in biomedical engineering for students (particularly, females and underrepresented minorities) who would not normally have such opportunities.

Materials and Methods

To provide undergraduate student exposure to biomedical engineering-related research, the authors of the present study applied for and obtained a National Science Foundation award for a Research Experiences for Undergraduates (REU) program at Purdue University. Undergraduate students (US citizens or permanent residents) having completed at least 4 semesters of education could apply for admittance to the program through an on-line web-site ( Students were mentored throughout the 10-week summer program by faculty advisors and graduate students in a research area chosen by the REU student. REU participants were required to attend weekly lab meetings (within their own research labs and as part of the REU student group) aimed at providing research updates and project feedback. In addition, halfway through the summer, students prepared and presented 4’x6’ research posters to Purdue faculty, staff, and students. At the program’s culmination, students gave formal, 30-minute long oral presentations to Purdue students, faculty, and staff, as well as visiting faculty from the REU students’ universities.

Exposure to Clinical Medicine

In a novel manner, the REU program at Purdue University gave clinical exposure to all student participants. Specifically, students watched at least two surgeries (in most cases, related to their research project) during the summer, followed medical doctors on clinical rounds, and partook in a panel discussion (run by medical students, residents, fellows, and “Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright ã 2002, American Society for Engineering Education”

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Webster, T. J., & Haberstroh, K. (2002, June), A Biomedical Engineering Research Experiences For Undergraduates Program At Purdue University Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada.

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