June 22, 2008
June 22, 2008
June 25, 2008
Electrical and Computer
13.1042.1 - 13.1042.11
Research Training of Undergraduates through BioMEMS Senior Design Projects
Bio Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (BioMEMS) is a multidisciplinary research field that closely integrates engineering with physics, chemistry, and biology. This emerging technology has an innovative effect on many areas of science and engineering. Research in BioMEMS generally occurs at the graduate level, due to its multidisciplinary nature. At the University of Cincinnati we have developed a number of courses in order to introduce graduate students to this topic. However, little focus has been given to the undergraduate experience. To address this concern, graduate students along with their faculty advisor in the Electrical and Computer Engineering Department have been using the required senior project to teach research methods in order to give undergraduate students a chance to experience BioMEMS-related research. This paper will discuss some of the research-oriented senior projects in the BioMEMS field as examples. A unique aspect of these projects is the focus on extended problem-based real-world learning examples.
The senior design project gives students a unique opportunity to undertake a research project similar to that which would be expected in a Masters level program. This allows preparing to be more successful as they move onto graduate research studies. Throughout the year, students submit periodic progress reports and give presentations summarizing their research efforts, current problems, and future directions, providing an opportunity for real-time feedback and tailored guidance leading to more successful project outcomes. The undergraduate students who worked on the projects not only completed their research project goals, but also submitted abstracts of their work to international research conferences, and two students extended their research as NSF Research Experience Undergraduate (REU) students through the summer term prior to continuing on to graduate school. The success of these research-oriented senior design projects is encouraging and we propose extending this opportunity to motivate students enrolled in related programs such as biology, chemistry, and other engineering disciplines.
Micromachining or Micro Electro Mechanical Systems (MEMS) technologies are considered an enabling technology that has a revolutionary impact on many areas of science and engineering.1 MEMS technologies are now being applied to health monitoring, diagnostics and therapeutic applications, which are frequently referred to as Biomedical Microsystems (BioMEMS). BioMEMS research includes biological, biomedical, biochemical, and pharmaceutical analysis and synthesis using MEMS-based microsensors and microsystems.
While the BioMEMS technologies have dramatically altered biomedical, pharmaceutical, and environmental research, they are yet to be successfully transferred to the undergraduate curriculum. Because of the multidisciplinary nature of BioMEMS and the background needed to conduct research, BioMEMS courses have traditionally been offered at the graduate level only
Lee, J., & Bhagat, A. A., & Davis, K., & Papautsky, I. (2008, June), Research Training Of Undergraduates Through Biomems Senior Design Projects Paper presented at 2008 Annual Conference & Exposition, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. https://peer.asee.org/3739
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