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Design Of A Two Semester Transport Sequence For Biomedical Engineering Undergraduates

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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

ASEE Multimedia Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

7.371.1 - 7.371.5



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Rebecca Willits

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Main Menu Session 2793

Design of a two-semester transport sequence for biomedical engineering undergraduates

Rebecca Kuntz Willits Department of Biomedical Engineering Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO 63103


As a relatively new undergraduate field of study, biomedical engineering curricula vary significantly from university to university. In attempting to train undergraduate students for both industry and academia, the program at Saint Louis University has a combination of traditional basic engineering courses and upper level biomedical engineering specific courses. While the basic courses cover essential engineering topics and attempt to incorporate biomedical examples, the upper level courses specifically target biomedical topics, using the basic engineering principles as a basis. This paper describes the organization and contents of a two-semester transport sequence for undergraduates, covering topics from Navier-Stokes to bioartificial organs.

Design of First Course

The first course was designed as a traditional engineering course in Transport Phenomena, focusing on the fundamental problems, with prerequisites of differential equations and mechanics (syllabus can be found online at Topics included mass, energy, and momentum balances, development of Navier-Stokes, convection and conduction, and diffusive mass transfer, using the text by Welty, Wicks, Wilson and Rorrer 1, 2. These topics were covered using the “horizontal approach”1 to allow all of the above topics to be introduced in a one semester course. The objectives of the first course were: (i) to prepare the students for more advanced topics in Transport Phenomena by solving problems at the fundamental level, (ii) to relate the topics discussed in class to biomedical problems, and (iii) to improve their written communication skills on topics related to transport.

Although the first objective can be accomplished with the help of the text, few biomedical problems or concepts are available in the current text until the mass transfer section. Therefore, one additional component was added to fulfill the second and third course objectives. The students were each required to find and review a total of three (one per month) scientific journal articles on topics that were covered in class and were related to biomedical engineering. The review consisted of a summary of the article as it relates to transport, including the relevant equations and assumptions, and a critique of the article, including potential problems with the analysis, organization of the writing, and overall significance of the work. The reviews not only gave the students a chance to see ‘what’s out there,’ but also allowed them to work on their

Proceedings of the 2002 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2002, American Society for Engineering Education

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Willits, R. (2002, June), Design Of A Two Semester Transport Sequence For Biomedical Engineering Undergraduates Paper presented at 2002 Annual Conference, Montreal, Canada. 10.18260/1-2--11018

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