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Preparing Early-career Biomedical Undergraduates Through Investigations of Stakeholder Needs: A Qualitative Analysis

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2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access


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Publication Date

June 22, 2020

Start Date

June 22, 2020

End Date

June 26, 2021

Conference Session

Introduction to the Field of Biomedical Engineering - June 25th

Tagged Division

Biomedical Engineering

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Paper Authors


Christian Poblete Rivera University of Michigan

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Christian earned a B.Sc. in biomedical engineering from Purdue University (West Lafayette, IN, USA) in 2012. He went to go on and received a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology (Atlanta, GA, USA) in joint program with Emory University and Peking University in 2019. There he was a recipient of a Ford Fellowship, and received honors for his role as graduate teaching assistant. Currently, Christian is an instructional post-doctoral fellow in the Transforming Engineering Education co-Laboratory in the Biomedical Engineering Department at the University of Michigan. There he is focusing to developing courses and curriculum for a new Biomedical Engineering program at Shantou University. His research interests in undergraduate research, study abroad, and curriculum design.

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Aileen Huang-Saad University of Michigan

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Aileen is faculty in Engineering Education and Biomedical Engineering. Previously, Aileen was the Associate Director for Academics in the Center for Entrepreneurship and was responsible for building the Program in Entrepreneurship for UM undergraduates, co-developing the masters level entrepreneurship program, and launching the biomedical engineering graduate design program. Aileen has received a number of awards for her teaching, including the Thomas M. Sawyer, Jr. Teaching Award, the UM ASEE Outstanding Professor Award and the Teaching with Sakai Innovation Award. Prior to joining the University of Michigan faculty, she worked in the private sector gaining experience in biotech, defense, and medical device testing at large companies and start-ups. Aileen’s current research areas include entrepreneurship engineering education, impact and engaged learning. Aileen has a Bachelor’s of Science in Engineering from the University of Pennsylvania, a Doctorate of Philosophy from The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, and a Masters of Business Administration from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business. Aileen is also a member of Phi Kappa Phi and Beta Sigma Gamma.

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Cassandra Sue Ellen Jamison University of Michigan Orcid 16x16

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Cassandra (Cassie) Woodcock is a PhD Candidate at the University of Michigan. She is pursuing a PhD in Biomedical Engineering (BME) with an Emphasis in Engineering Education. Her research interests involve interdisciplinary engineering co-curricular experiences and the professional, personal, and academic outcomes of students engaged in these experiences. She is also involved in student outcomes research in the BME Department and with the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Education Office at Michigan. Cassie received a B.A. in Engineering Sciences at Wartburg College (Waverly, IA) and a M.S. in BME from the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor).

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Annie Wang

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Biomedical engineering (BME) is a field undergoing significant growth with stable employment and economic stability. However, despite these metrics, students aiming to receive a degree in biomedical or bioengineering have stated difficulty competing against traditional engineering majors (mechanical, electrical, etc.) for positions in biomedical companies. BME programs therefore must adapt to the fast changing landscape to ensure their students can meet the demands and requirements of future employers. Our approach to this problem was the development of an Instructional Incubator with the goal of creating BME professional practice short courses for early career BME students that align the needs of undergraduate students and potential employers. Through the Instructional Incubator, graduate students, upper-level undergraduates, postdocs, and faculty came together with the common goal of improving the undergraduate BME curricula at a large, public, R1 institution. This was accomplished through instructional design, understanding student learning needs, and interviewing future BME stakeholders to inform curriculum design. Specifically, Incubator participants engaged in instructional discovery to understand the needs of early career BME students and major industry stakeholders. In this study we analyzed instructional discovery data collected over the first three years of the Instructional Incubator. Specifically, we ask, “What are common BME professional practice skills stakeholders look for in recent BME graduates?" and “How do desired skills of BME stakeholders differ based on job sector?”. Sixty-three stakeholders in the biomedical field were interviewed to determine the skills, both professional and technical, they felt were required or expected of engineers in their workplace. A qualitative analysis of these responses was performed to categorize the skills, and determine which were not being met in the current curriculum. The results of this work will help BME departments adapt their early career curriculum to address the needs of future employers, and better differentiate their students from other traditional engineering departments.

Rivera, C. P., & Huang-Saad, A., & Jamison, C. S. E., & Wang, A. (2020, June), Preparing Early-career Biomedical Undergraduates Through Investigations of Stakeholder Needs: A Qualitative Analysis Paper presented at 2020 ASEE Virtual Annual Conference Content Access, Virtual On line . 10.18260/1-2--35079

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