Top 20 Biomedical Engineering Programs Which Have The Highest Percentage of Women Graduates in 2011

The Biomedical Engineering programs attract a higher proportion of women than any other engineering programs.  I thought it would be interesting to show just how high the proportion is in some programs.  I am not aware of any definitive explanation for the high participation rate.  My guess is that the opportunity to contribute to the health of the community may be an important motivating factor.   The technical factors in the field are actually more challenging than other engineering fields given the multidisciplinary manner in which problems are addressed.   People who work in the healthcare field are typically attracted to the prospect of helping patients in need.   Biomedical Engineering positions hold the promise of working on projects that will positively impact the lives of many patients if they proceed to commercialization.  The following list is created from Biomedical Engineering programs graduating 20 or more Bachelor of Science graduates.

Institution Name Total % Female
Brown University 26 69%
Massachusetts Institute of Technology 102 57%
CUNY City College 34 56%
Santa Clara University 20 55%
Florida International University 49 53%
Oregon State University 21 52%
Wayne State University 64 52%
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign 39 49%
Stevens Institute of Technology 66 48%
Yale University 33 48%
University of Rochester 81 48%
Columbia University in the City of New York 73 48%
Pennsylvania State University-Main Campus 46 48%
University of Virginia-Main Campus 89 47%
Rice University 66 47%
University of Pennsylvania 121 46%
Mississippi State University 39 46%
University of Toledo 37 46%
Vanderbilt University 83 46%
Michigan Technological University 35 46%


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Biomedical Engineering Programs by State

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As a convenience to the reader I have added a search for the Biomedical Engineering Programs in your state by entering the state abbreviation at Academic Program Information Resource . Click on the “BME Programs” tab.

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Top Ten Schools Patenting Multicell Organisms or Parts

So why do we want to know who is patenting multicellular organisms or their parts?  That will depend on whether the reader is interested in getting into a school that is actively considering commercialization possibilities in this particular area or a Research/Development  Engineer trying to determine who in the academic world is actively patenting.  Agricultural companies are particularly active in this area.  Next several posts will cover top ten schools and corporations in the area of medical devices, prosthetics, drugs, etc.  These articles will be of interest to any job seekers who want to narrow down their list of possibilities as well as practicing engineers, program managers looking for competitive intelligence.  Actual number of patents over a five year period is available for all the schools and companies listed.  Contact me if you are interested.

University Of California, The Regents Of
Michigan State University
North Carolina State University
Iowa State University Research Foundation Inc.
Rutgers University
University Of Arizona
Louisiana State University
Ohio State Research Foundation
University Of Arkansas
University Of Georgia Research Foundation, Inc.

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Colorado State Opts For 5 Year Dual Degree B.S. Biomedical Engineering Degree

Colorado State University is introducing a new dual degree the Fall of 2011.  The decision was made in large part as a direct response to industry adviser input.  Creating a B.S. BME curriculum in this manner addresses a long standing issue regarding a lack of significant technical depth found in a large majority of baccalaureate Biomedical Engineering degrees.   The expectation is that the degree will provide graduates with the depth of knowledge industry wants and the  needed specialized knowledge required to address creating new products in the health care field.  The added technical depth is expected to make these graduates more attractive to graduate programs as well.  Here are a few quotes from the program adviser comment and director e-mail communication.

“Our industry advisers agree with you – they said they wanted the depth of a traditional engineering degree AND the breadth of BME. Typically, the problem with a “standalone” general degree is that it doesn’t have the depth they wanted. They felt that, generally, it was more effective to teach the biomedical side of things to a traditionally-trained engineer than to hire a broadly-trained BME who didn’t have enough depth.

Either way, though, the ramp-up time for a freshly minted bachelors’ degree grad was significant.  So, with the dual degree, we are predicting that ramp-up time will decrease, the students will be better prepared, and, in fact, it should open some more doors to their employability (or future grad school).”

Brett Beal, BME program Adviser, Colorado State University

“We believe the dual-degree approach is a good way

to accomplish that while also leveraging the existing resources in our

traditional chemical, electrical, and mechanical engineering departments. Another primary motivation for going the dual-degree route was that our external advisory board strongly recommended it. ”

Kevin Lear, PhD, Director of the Undergraduate Biomedical Engineering Program


Colorado State Dual Degree B.S. BME

Industry Advisory Board Feedback about Colorado State Dual Degree B.S. BME

The Colorado State University Biomedical Engineering Program currently has 50 graduate students enrolled. The expectations are that about 50 freshman will enter the dual-degree bachelor’s program Fall ’11.

Related Links:

The Entry Level B.S. Biomedical Engineer’s Job Dilemma

Biomedical Industry Feedback On Engineering Graduate Preparation

Overcoming B.S. Biomedical Engineering Curriculum Deficiencies to Obtain a Medical Industry Position

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New Reports Tab

I have created a second report type which is based on published information for BME programs which although available is difficult to obtain, ferret out or overlooked.  I have included information on graduation rates, faculty publishing and patent activity, accreditation, mission and vision.  Each piece of information provides an insight into the current strength of the program by the numbers. I also provide my opinion of the curriculum based on feedback obtained in the  Biomedical Industry Engineers Feedback section of this Blog and my own experience.  Finally I make a few suggestions about what to ask to get a better idea of the particular program’s ability to prepare the graduate for gainful employment.  Please let me know what you think about the content categories or the idea of this type of report.

MDIF#12: Anecdotal Feedback From Medical Device and Manufacturing Show

The Medical Device and Manufacturing show was last week in this part of the country. As I was walking out of the parking garage I met a representative of a contract manufacturing firm and struck up a conversation. As we talked the subject came up that his group designed everything in the U.S. and manufactured it in China. He noted, however, that recently the Chinese manufacturing work force has received a 30% hike in wages on the heels of a previous similar hike a number of months before. He felt that although not yet significant these hikes were beginning to get industry wide attention for their eventual impact on product cost. The implications were that corporations would begin thinking about other locations if the trend continues. This may herald the first glimmers of light at the end of the tunnel for U.S. manufacturing.

I made the rounds of the floor and found a few other interesting items of note. Speaking with a CEO of one of Michigan’s medical device companies I learned that a new B.S. level engineering offering which focuses on Biomedical Engineering is being created in Michigan which will apparently have a heavier than typical emphasis on meeting the needs of the medical device industry. Grand Valley State University has a Master of Science in Biomedical Engineering and also is gearing up a minor for student engineers in the traditional engineering programs. In a separate discussion I also spoke with a representative of a engineering consulting firm and found that they exclusively hired from their internship program. They appeared to take internships exclusively from Rose Hulman. One of the reasons was the level of preparation the students had in Solidworks. I didn’t see any specific reference to computer aided design in the Rose Hulman Biomedical Engineering Program although I did notice and CAD/CAM course in the catalog that could be taken as an elective.

Grand Valley State University to offer minor in biomedical engineering

Q+A-Is China finished as a low-wage manufacturer?

Rose Hulman Biomedical Engineering Program

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A High Impact Course to Add to the Biomedical Engineering or Biomedical Engineering Technology Curriculum

The well prepared engineer should think hard about taking a project management course preferably near the end of their program. Most new hires directly out of their engineering program will most likely be performing a lot of basic footwork and small projects. They can put a lot of what they learn about the business during this period in perspective with a project management course under their belt and be more successful in the process. The reason is that a well designed project management course based on the Project Management Institute’s guidelines is essentially a guide book about how to get things done in the complex human environment embodied by all technical, academic or business organizations.

Particularly interesting to an engineer is that a project management course would provide the mechanics of initializing, planning, executing, monitoring and controlling and finally closing a project. These processes are never discussed in typical technical courses and many times relegated to a subordinate stature during the rush to finish the senior project. Although extremely useful when managing a project the knowledge obtained also provides thoughtful engineers with a framework to organize how to use the information they absorb during their first and second years. It provides them with strong direction about the type of information to gather about the potential stakeholders of their current and future projects.  The subject matter covered also suggests what they should be learning about the mechanics of an organization to be successful in the smallest or largest project. Essentially a well designed course expands the engineers outlook into the full range of activities necessary to bring any project to a successful conclusion and a future benefit to the corporation.

Good project management is essential for effective product development. It distinguishes a professional engineer from his peers. A project management course provides the type of knowledge that would impress corporate hiring managers and increase the graduate’s potential to succeed in their first and subsequent years as a professional engineer. Undergraduate Biomedical Engineering and Biomedical Engineering Technology programs would do well to include it in their curricula.

To start with here is the website of the Project Management Institute which confers the Project Management Professional certification.

The Project Management Institute

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