Asee peer logo

Interdisciplinary Collaboration In An Introductory Bioengineering Course

Download Paper |


2006 Annual Conference & Exposition


Chicago, Illinois

Publication Date

June 18, 2006

Start Date

June 18, 2006

End Date

June 21, 2006



Conference Session

Novel BME Courses and Course Adaptations

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

11.814.1 - 11.814.4



Permanent URL

Download Count


Request a correction

Paper Authors

author page

Laura Sullivan Kettering University


Patrick Atkinson Kettering University

visit author page

Dr. Atkinson is an Associate Professor in Kettering Universit⁹s Mechanical Engineering Department and the Orthopaedic Research Director at McLaren Regional Medical Center. His research interests include orthopaedic biomechanics of the hip and knee, and injuries suffered by occupants during automotive accidents. He regularly publishes in the orthopaedic, biomechanics, and automotive safety journals and presents his work at national conferences.

visit author page

author page

Stacy Seeley Kettering University

Download Paper |

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

Interdisciplinary Collaboration in an Introductory Bioengineering Course

The Interdisciplinary course discussed in this paper is taught under the supervision of the Mechanical Engineering department at a university that focuses primarily on undergraduate engineering. Of the 2400 undergraduate students attending this university, roughly 1500 of these students are student are studying Mechanical Engineering.

These Mechanical Engineering students are given the opportunity to declare a “concentration” within the degree program by selecting a pre-specified group of technical and free electives. Because the university has faculty with expertise in automotive engineering and valuable automotive engineering resources, two of the concentrations that have always been favorites among students are “Automotive Body and Chassis” and “Automotive Powertrain”. The next most popular concentration among ME students, chosen by 37% of students who select a concentration, is the Bioengineering Application”. This specialty grew from a series of courses first developed by faculty specializing in automotive crash safety and orthopedic biomechanics. A sense that these courses were attracting students already at the university, and that they had the potential to recruit high school students (especially underrepresented minorities) became the impetus for developing a concentration. Currently, the Bioengineering Application concentration includes the following:

Introduction to Bioengineering Applications Choose three of the following five: Biology I Biology II Anatomy and Physiology Automotive Bioengineering: Occupant Protection and Safety Vehicular Crash Dynamics and Accident Reconstruction Bioengineering Applications Project (Capstone)

This paper focuses on the Introduction to Bioengineering Applications course. While the majority of students who enroll in this course have selected the Bioengineering Application concentration (90% in the winter of 2006), this is not a requirement for enrollment. Prerequisites for the course are Organic Chemistry (for the Biochemistry topics covered) and Solid Mechanics (for the Biomechanics topics covered). The course is taught during the winter and spring terms each year. In 2006, the enrollment for the year will be 80 students.

Introduction to Bioengineering Applications is team taught by three faculty members from two departments, each teaching approximately one third of the course curriculum. The first third of the course is facilitated by a Chemistry professor in the Science and Mathematics department, who combines topics on biochemistry with lectures on the cells and tissue. Systems discussions begin in this rotation with the nervous system and the cardiovascular system. The second third of the course is taught by a Mechanics professor in the Mechanical Engineering department, who applies his expertise in orthopedics and crash safety to facilitate the study of muscle and skeletal biomechanics. During this rotation, the students also participate in interactive orthopedic labs, including a casting lab, observation of surgical procedures, and interaction with orthopedic

Sullivan, L., & Atkinson, P., & Seeley, S. (2006, June), Interdisciplinary Collaboration In An Introductory Bioengineering Course Paper presented at 2006 Annual Conference & Exposition, Chicago, Illinois. 10.18260/1-2--125

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: © 2006 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