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Work-In-Progress: Clinical Immersion and Team-Based Engineering Design

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2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 14, 2015

Start Date

June 14, 2015

End Date

June 17, 2015





Conference Session

Biomedical Engineering Division Poster Session

Tagged Division


Page Count


Page Numbers

26.1762.1 - 26.1762.5



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Paper Authors


Jennifer Kadlowec Rowan University

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Jennifer Kadlowec is Professor and Chair of Mechanical Engineering at Rowan University, Henry M. Rowan of College of Engineering. She is interested in design education in mechanical and biomedical areas.

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Tom Merrill Rowan University


Robert Alan Hirsh Cooper University Hospital

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Robert Hirsh is an Anesthesiologist by training. He has an abiding passion for non-invasive physiological monitoring technology, and has several patents in this field.
Hirsh is also an active Radio Amateur, WB2HRR.

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Sameer Sood Rowan School of Osteopathic Medicine

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Sameer Sood is pursuing a D.O. degree at Rowan University. He sees feasibility, potential, connections and the means for making something happen. His undergraduate engineering experience enhanced his sense of logic and persistence to solve the seemingly unsolvable. Sood's entrepreneurial instincts led me to engineer medicine and become an inside navigator of the healthcare system so that he can eventually affect change and promote progress with his unique perspectives as a practicing physician. Lastly, his compassion for just patient care and desire to find root cause, sustainable fixes versus a reliance on “band aid” pills has led him to the primary care side of medicine and innovation.

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Work-In-Progress: Clinical Immersion and Team-Based Engineering DesignThe cost of medical care in the U.S. is staggering. The Congressional Budget Office has statedthat total spending was 16% of gross domestic product in 2007, and projects that withoutchanges in federal law it could be 25% in 2025 and 37% in 2050. One way to hold down costsand maintain or enhance patient care is the development of more cost effective, safer medicaldevices. To meet this need, we must also increase the number and the quality of bioengineerstrained to identify and solve healthcare problems.Design experiences are core to bioengineering education and experiential learning strategiesresult in deeper understanding. Through real-world design experiences, students developexpertise and their ability to use design understanding to develop solutions to engineering designproblems. These as well as practical aspects of eventual commercialization of technology are anecessary part of student training to meet health, medical device, and patient needs as well ascontrol costs.A team of engineering and medical faculty developed a program to improve team-based designeducation for undergraduate student Scholars with new projects drawn from unmet clinical needsand a new immersive summer training program using clinical mentorship at a partneringhospital. In the first part of the experience, Scholars follow a three-step process: 1) observeclinical processes, 2) identify problems associated with that process, and 3) formulate a needstatement. Additionally, we developed didactic and active learning activities based on theBiodesign process.During the academic year, students in teams, further develop the projects that were identified andwritten in their needs statements. The projects are the basis of the team-based design projects aspart of the capstone course experience. Surveys were conducted and analyzed to determine theeffect of the design projects on students’ self-confidence and attitudes about bioengineeringdesign experiences. The faculty team will use an approach to study the use of language by theengineering designers through student design reports to assess design thinking and learning.We expect to improve student learning, design solutions, develop projects into products, andoffer an example of a model partnership between a university and a clinical collaborator. Overtime, assessment of this program and student outcomes will add to the scientific knowledge baseon the impact, benefits and improved student learning derived from team-based design increating novel healthcare solutions.

Kadlowec, J., & Merrill, T., & Hirsh, R. A., & Sood, S. (2015, June), Work-In-Progress: Clinical Immersion and Team-Based Engineering Design Paper presented at 2015 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Seattle, Washington. 10.18260/p.25098

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