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Integrating Biology and Engineering

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2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Vancouver, BC

Publication Date

June 26, 2011

Start Date

June 26, 2011

End Date

June 29, 2011



Conference Session

Biological & Agricultural Technical Session II

Tagged Division

Biological & Agricultural

Page Count


Page Numbers

22.896.1 - 22.896.9



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Paper Authors

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Cindy Waters North Carolina A&T State University


Sanjiv Sarin North Carolina A&T State University

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Sanjiv Sarin is a Professor of Industrial Engineering and Associate Dean of the College of Engineering at North Carolina A&T State University. He received a Bachelors degree in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, New Delhi and a Ph.D. in Industrial Engineering from the State University of New York, Buffalo. He is a member of ASEE and IIE, and a registered Professional Engineer in North Carolina.

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Incorporating Biology in EngineeringThis paper presents planned activities and some recent successes related to collaborative effortsbetween engineering and biology at *** State University. For many years, faculty in engineeringand biology have teamed up to submit research proposals, much of this collaboration hasoccurred through personal relationships among faculty members. More recently, the universityhas encouraged a formal and intentional cooperation between the two disciplines in an effort tofind mutual benefits. Spurred by the establishment of new bioengineering degree programs andhelped by the NSF Engineering Research Center for metallic biomaterials, the partnershipbetween engineering and biology has strengthened and is yielding significant benefits forstudents. The partnership has grown in several dimensions including coursework, fundedproposals, joint faculty positions, and shared facilities. During 2010 a team of facultyrepresenting engineering and biology and administrators were awarded an NSF Innovationthrough Institutional Integration (I3) grant titled EBEE: Enhancing Bioscience and EngineeringEducation through curriculum integration and research experiences in systems biology. Themain theme of the project is to incorporate life sciences education and research across thecampus and to demonstrate it by creating intentional and sustained collaborations between theCollege of Engineering and the Biology Department at ***. One example of cross-campussustainable collaborations is team teaching by faculty from the two disciplines. The mechanicalengineering department faculty has recognized that research into new biomaterials is asignificant area of emphasis for modern materials research and therefore is an area worthy ofstudy. In order to prepare students, the regularly scheduled course entitled Modern EngineeringMaterials is being upgraded to include biomaterials. Recognizing that the human body is anamazing machine made up of a series of macro and nano-scale systems including biologicalpumps, valves, pipes, filters, wiring, as well as contents under pressure, the course will be teamtaught by engineering and biology professors. In order to introduce undergraduate engineers tothese connections, a module was created to identify and study relationships between structureand function in human body tissues and to investigate medical device design. In turn,engineering faculty will help the biologists in helping them use systems biology to model thesame physiological systems. Systems biology is a comprehensive quantitative analysis of themanner in which all the components of a biological system interact functionally over time.Engineering faculty will in turn assist the biology faculty in incorporating systems biology intotheir curriculum. The details of this collaboration and the specific module created will bediscussed in the paper.

Waters, C., & Sarin, S. (2011, June), Integrating Biology and Engineering Paper presented at 2011 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Vancouver, BC. 10.18260/1-2--18207

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