June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
13.277.1 - 13.277.9
Career and Professional Development in Bioengineering: Translation of a Conference Initiative to Education and Training
The Student Activities Committee of the annual conferences of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE) Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS) has developed a unique career and professional development track for undergraduate and graduate students in bioengineering. This initiative debuted at the 2005 IEEE/EMBS conference and has since developed as an integral part of the annual conference. In the 2006 annual conference, approximately 320 student members participated in the student activity sessions—one third of the thousand students who attended the conference. The sessions in this track provide extraordinary opportunities for students to network with leaders and practitioners from both industry and academia. The track has also led to increases in student volunteerism and the creation of innovative sessions. For instance, in 2004 there were no student activities at the annual conference aside from the traditional student paper and design competitions, whereas in 2007 there were about half-a-dozen activities, led by more than 15 student and faculty volunteers. Subject areas in the student activity sessions that are continually featured and well- liked include (1) traditional and non-traditional career opportunities, (2) life strategies for career growth and renewal, (3) leadership, innovation, and entrepreneurial development, and (4) social, ethical, and political stewardship in bioengineering. In this work, we describe our best practices and outcomes in developing these student activity sessions. We also share our experiences on incorporating facets of this initiative into a sample bioengineering educational curriculum and present its relevance to visionary frameworks that include the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology’s Criterion 3, the National Academies’ Engineer of 2020 and the National Science Foundation’s Strategic Plan.
There is lively ongoing debate about the essential underpinnings of an engineering education. With growing disparity between technological progress on the one hand, and existing limitations in educational and socioeconomic resources on the other, a varied number of visionary frameworks and strategic plans have been put forth by commissions of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology (ABET)1, the National Academy of Engineering (NAE)2, and the National Science Foundation (NSF)3. A strong, consistent recommendation in these reports is the need for engineering graduates to have professional development, or “soft” skills. The visions of these reports have particular relevance to bioengineering, a discipline whose explosive international growth is generating abundant career development, professional development, and humanitarian development opportunities that require engineers to be poised in terms of both technical and soft skills4.
Correspondingly, the Student Activities Committee of the annual conferences of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers’ (IEEE)5 Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBS)6 has developed a unique career and professional development track for undergraduate and graduate students in bioengineering. Initiated in 2005 as part of the annual
ASEE holds the copyright on this document. It may be read by the public free of charge. Authors may archive their work on personal websites or in institutional repositories with the following citation: © 2008 American Society for Engineering Education. Other scholars may excerpt or quote from these materials with the same citation. When excerpting or quoting from Conference Proceedings, authors should, in addition to noting the ASEE copyright, list all the original authors and their institutions and name the host city of the conference. - Last updated April 1, 2015