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Development Of A Web Enhanced Senior Biomedical Engineering Design Course

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.207.1 - 3.207.6

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Paper Authors

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Paul H. King

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

Session 3620

Development of a Web-enhanced Senior Biomedical Engineering Design Course Paul H. King, Ph.D., P.E. Vanderbilt University


The senior year Biomedical Engineering experience at Vanderbilt University used to require two disassociated courses: BME 280 – Introduction to Biomedical Computing (Fall, 3 credits), and BME 272 – Design of Biomedical Engineering Devices and Systems (Spring, 3 credits). BME280 covered such topics as monitoring, image analysis, patient information systems, and database and statistical techniques. BME272 began with a series of lectures and exercises on the general process of design (modeled after a NSF /ASEE Creative and Structured Design Methods Workshop, 1989) accompanied by design project requests. After about 6 weeks the remainder of the term was dedicated to project development.

The Biomedical Computing course was difficult to administer and teach, as the student body came in with quite disparate backgrounds. Several students, especially those with BME-EE backgrounds, were well versed in some of the lecture material and did not like the class; others did not see the relevance of the course to their careers. The design course was reasonably well received, though a universal comment was that there was not enough time to properly complete many of the projects, as only about two and a half months were available to work on the projects. Several students suggested that the course become a full year offering in their year-end evaluations in order that more time could be devoted to completion of projects. Many students were concerned that the short time allotted would only allow prototype design, rather than construction.

The web presence of these two courses prior to this year was limited to course descriptions and a brief outline (272).

As a result of the above experiences, the department chose to combine the two courses in a new offering termed BME 272-273, Design of Biomedical Engineering Devices and Systems I and II [3-3]. The new course descriptions is: An integration of the engineering and life science backgrounds of senior biomedical engineering students through the presentation of design principles for medical devices and systems. 272: Design principles and case examples for biomedical electronics, mechanical, chemical, and computing systems. 273: A full semester design project is required. Evaluation via periodic oral and written presentations and a final written and poster report.

Design Course Structure, First Semester:

The Fall Semester offering of the course is primarily lecture oriented, with course communication outside of the classroom occurring through postings on a course web site.


King, P. H. (1998, June), Development Of A Web Enhanced Senior Biomedical Engineering Design Course Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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