Biomedical engineering program receives accreditation

buildingSept. 19, 2016 | Engineering & Physics |

The department of engineering and physics received accreditation in August for its Bachelor of Science in biomedical engineering degree program by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET).

The program began in fall 2011. Its first graduating class was in spring 2015 and consisted of three students. There are currently a total of 41 students enrolled as biomedical engineering majors, 17 of whom enrolled in August.

According to Dr. Lance Gibson, director of the biomedical engineering program, the accreditation of biomedical engineering includes an ongoing review of the program by ABET. Student progress will be compared to national averages of other student engineers.

As part of accreditation, the program follows specific educational objectives and criteria. One of the objectives includes producing graduates who apply technical knowledge and problem-solving skills to serve society.

“Since biomedical engineering is one of the fastest growing disciplines and highest ranked careers, it shows that Harding University is leading the way in the programs that it offers,” Gibson said. “This milestone of accreditation in a rapidly growing program shows that Harding biomedical engineering is committed to continually improve and ensure that the needs of students are met.”

Biomedical engineering major Stephanie King is the vice president of the student chapter of the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). King said BMES creates opportunities for students to build careers.

“[BMES] brings together fellow engineers to share ideas and projects and talk about engineering as a whole,” King said. “It is a way to get your foot in the door for possible job opportunities and is great experience that you cannot get anywhere else.”

Biomedical engineering majors are required to create a final project that could be used to benefit society. Senior design projects have included a three-dimensional hand for people in developing countries and a device used to aid in stretching an injured leg in a hospital. Gibson said the ability to partner with other health-oriented programs at the University benefit the engineering department.

“This field has a huge benefit on mankind,” Gibson said. “But, more important for a Christian university like Harding, biomedical engineering plays into the idea of us being able to help people physically and meeting spiritual needs.”

Gibson said he aims for the student chapter of BMES to become more involved in the mission of the engineering program, as well as have a team compete in national biomedical engineering competitions.

U.S. News and World Report ranked biomedical engineering as the second best job in the United States. Gibson said it is a highly satisfactory career because of the direct impact it has on the lives of people.

King said she hopes to attend graduate school for a master’s in medical device design in order to use her engineering skills for the benefit of society.

“I would love to go into a biomedical engineering job and be able to help others in the process by making devices for the people who need them,” King said.

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Categories: Academics and University.