New Concentration—Biomedical Engineering
Because of a recent increased awareness of the benefits of biomedical advances, as well as a growing need for medical services by an aging population, the demand for engineers who can analyze and create solutions to biological and medical problems has never been greater. So to help fill the needs of this expanding field with well-prepared, God-honoring employees, Geneva College’s engineering program will begin offering a biomedical engineering concentration next fall.
Geneva’s general engineering program is accredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of ABET, http://www.abet.org, and the college is one of only 15 Schools in the nation within the Council for Christian Colleges & Universities (CCCU) to offer an ABET-accredited, four-year engineering degree. In 2014, the program was recognized by U.S. News & World Report as one of the nation’s Top 100 Best Undergraduate Engineering Programs for the second year in a row. But these aren’t the only reasons why those interested in biomedical engineering should consider attending Geneva.
“With all of the excellent medical services and concentration of activity in the field found in nearby Pittsburgh, Geneva is placed in an excellent location to offer biomedical engineering,” notes Dr. Jim Gidley, Chair of the Engineering Department.
Geneva professor William Barlow, a patent-holding engineer who led a team in developing state-of-the-art cardiovascular injection systems at MEDRAD, Inc., adds, “Biomedical engineering is a concentration that requires cross-training. You need a program that delivers a broad base of fundamental engineering. That’s the power of Geneva’s integrated program, which places biomedical engineering in our wheelhouse.”
The work of biomedical engineers spans many professional fields, depending on the application—chemical, computer, electrical and mechanical. Some use knowledge of computers and electronics to work on complicated instruments, such as MRI machines or CAT scanners. Others may draw on chemistry to develop bio materials or mechanics for artificial joints, for example. Common projects for biomedical engineers include:
- Designing systems, such as artificial devices that replace body parts and machines for diagnosing, and treatment of medical problems
- Repairing, maintaining or ensuring the safe operation of biomedical equipment
- Working with scientists to research the engineering aspects of biological systems
Due to the wide scope of these activities and the diverse nature of training required, demand for biomedical engineers is expected to continue to increase. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment of biomedical engineers is projected to grow 27 percent by 2022, much faster than the average for all occupations.
To accommodate the required breadth of application, Geneva’s curriculum for the concentration requires students to take a small set of common courses in biomedical engineering, biology, chemistry, programming, and human anatomy and physiology. They will also work with advisors to formulate individual plans of study aimed at particular objectives, mainly in instrumentation, biomechanics, biological fluid systems and biomolecular engineering.
And, of course, students pursuing biomedical engineering will also be prepared vocationally and spiritually through Geneva’s core curriculum, which prepares all students for faithful and fruitful service through developing a Christ-centered perspective on the arts, sciences and humanities.