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A New Bme Curriculum For The 21st Century

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2001 Annual Conference


Albuquerque, New Mexico

Publication Date

June 24, 2001

Start Date

June 24, 2001

End Date

June 27, 2001



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Page Numbers

6.67.1 - 6.67.6



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Richard Jendrucko

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Jack Wasserman

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

Session 1309

A New BME Curriculum for the 21st Century

Richard Jendrucko, Jack Wasserman The University of Tennessee, Knoxville


This paper describes the design and content of a new undergraduate degree program in biomedical engineering at the University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Program enhancement with the use of advanced teaching tools and the Internet is discussed.

I. Introduction

The field of biomedical engineering (BME), defined as a new engineering discipline in the mid- twentieth century has been the focus for the development of new degree programs at many universities for over forty years. At present most major universities and colleges offer BME degree programs at either or both undergraduate and graduate levels. The growth in the number of BME programs has been a response to several factors including:

ΠΠthe steady development of new technologies impacting health care

Πa high level of government funding of BME research a high level of interest in the BME field among university students

For institutions with BME degree programs, there has been a need for regular curriculum updating and improvement to maximize the educational benefit to students. A major such updating has occurred recently in the BME program of The University of Tennessee, Knoxville campus (UTK) as detailed below.

Since the early 1970’s The University of Tennessee, Knoxville had offered an undergraduate Engineering Science (ES) Program BME option. This option program was built around a curriculum concentrated in mathematics and the engineering sciences (mechanics of solids and fluids, thermal and material sciences) and featured 18 hours of technical electives. To accommodate students having interest in the field of biomedical engineering, several BME faculty were hired and five undergraduate and two graduate BME elective courses were developed and were offered regularly over a period of more than twenty-five years. During the recent past, it was noted that 80% or more of the 80-100 students enrolled in the undergraduate ES degree program selected the BME option. For this reason and the decreased interest of students in other engineering science sub-disciplines, it was decided by the faculty of the parent department (Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Science) that a new undergraduate program in BME should be developed to replace the undergraduate ES program. Subsequently, during the 1999-2000 academic year, a new curriculum was developed, and was initially offered to students in the fall 2000 semester.

Proceedings of the 2001 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference and Exposition copyright  2001, American Society for Engineering Education

Jendrucko, R., & Wasserman, J. (2001, June), A New Bme Curriculum For The 21st Century Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--9602

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