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Biomedical Engineering Senior Design

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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



Page Count


Page Numbers

6.239.1 - 6.239.5



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Paper Authors

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David Kelso

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John D. Enderle

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Kristina Ropella

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

Session 2209


John D. Enderle 1 , David M. Kelso2 , Kristina M. Ropella3 1 Univ. of Connecticut/2 Northwestern Univ./3 Marquette Univ.

I. Introduction

In most senior design courses, the emphasis is not on learning new material, but rather solving large-scale, open-ended, complex and sometimes ill-defined problems. 1 This is an iterative, decision- making process in which the students apply previously learned material to meet a stated objective. Most often, students are exposed to system- wide synthesis and analysis, critique and evaluation for the first time. Typically, the class is divided into small teams of no more than 5 students. Each team meets with the course instructors and faculty advisors on a regular basis, and when appropriate, with clinicians and industrial sponsors. Some programs have teams consisting only of biomedical engineering students, while other programs offer truly interdisciplinary teams of biomedical, electrical, mechanical and chemical engineers. For example, at Marquette University1 , all senior biomedical, electrical and mechanical engineering students are combined into one capstone design course where students may select projects offered by any of the participating departments. Project sponsors typically request that a team be comprised of a mix of engineering disciplines.

Typically, there are no required textbooks, and only a minimal number of lectures. Experts from industry, patent law and government agencies typically provide the lecture material. Students integrate and apply knowledge from their major field of study toward a specific project.

A number of biomedical engineering programs, like the University of Connecticut2 , have a full year of required senior design courses, here referred to as Design I and II. The major deliverable in Design I is a paper design with extensive modeling and computer analysis. Over the semester, students are introduced to a variety of subjects including working on teams, the design process, planning and scheduling, technical report writing, proposal writing, oral presentations, ethics in design, safety, liability, impact of economic constraints, environmental considerations, manufacturing and marketing. Design II requires students to implement their design by completing a working model of the final product. Prototype testing of the paper design typically requires modification to meet specifications.

Some of the work presented in this report was funded by the National Science Foundation under grant number BES-9812042.

Kelso, D., & Enderle, J. D., & Ropella, K. (2001, June), Biomedical Engineering Senior Design Paper presented at 2001 Annual Conference, Albuquerque, New Mexico. 10.18260/1-2--8958

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