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Development Of A B.S.E. Concentration In Biomedical Engineering

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2004 Annual Conference


Salt Lake City, Utah

Publication Date

June 20, 2004

Start Date

June 20, 2004

End Date

June 23, 2004



Conference Session

NSF Grantees Poster Session

Page Count


Page Numbers

9.426.1 - 9.426.6

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Paper Authors

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Paul Leiffer

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

Session 1526

Development of a B.S.E. Concentration in Biomedical Engineering

Paul R. Leiffer, Roger V. Gonzalez LeTourneau University


A new program in Biomedical Engineering has been developed at LeTourneau University. Unlike most BME programs, this one is structured as one of five concentrations within a general engineering (B.S.E.) degree. Students receive a strong common core of mathematics, science, and engineering science courses, and then specialize in the final two years. Primary emphasis areas are in musculoskeletal biomechanics and biomedical instrumentation/signal processing. Development of the program entailed the establishment of (1) a series of specialized upper-level BME courses, (2) a BME laboratory capable of supporting basic experimentation and undergraduate research, (3) a BME capstone experience, (4) a BME summer internship experience, (5) guest workshops, and (6) a series of modules that fit within our core courses to facilitate “biomedical engineering across the curriculum.” The first BME graduates will complete the program in May of 2004.


For over twenty years, LeTourneau University has offered a Bachelor of Science in Engineering (B.S.E.) degree with electrical and mechanical concentrations, recently adding welding and computer engineering. Most of the courses taken in the first two years are common to all areas, with specialization in the final four semesters. In the fall of 2000, with the help of support from an NSF CCLI grant, we began a program in Biomedical Engineering as a fifth concentration within the B.S.E. Our goal was to offer a BME program with a strong interdisciplinary core, and, simultaneously, to make BME concepts available to all engineering students. Development of the curriculum and associated laboratories within the constraints of the degree became a type of exercise in engineering design.

In comparison with the BSE-BME program at Trinity College, which served as our model for the NSF grant, this program is also built upon a common core of courses but is fully multi- disciplinary (as opposed to containing BSE-EE or BSE-ME stems). In addition, it currently includes a required internship experience and professional workshops with external collaborators.


The engineering curriculum at LeTourneau University consists of four elements: (1) a university- wide humanities-general education core, (2) an engineering core, (3) upper-level concentration

Proceedings of the 2004 American Society for Engineering Education Annual Conference & Exposition Copyright © 2004, American Society for Engineering Education

Leiffer, P. (2004, June), Development Of A B.S.E. Concentration In Biomedical Engineering Paper presented at 2004 Annual Conference, Salt Lake City, Utah.

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