Grad Degrees in Biomedical Engineering Planned
University Joining Collaboration Between UT Southwestern, UT Arlington
Nov. 13, 2009
UT Dallas will begin offering graduate degrees in biomedical engineering this spring, joining the existing biomedical engineering collaboration between The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center and The University of Texas at Arlington.
“These master’s and doctoral degrees will prepare students to conduct original research and scholarship in biomedical engineering,” said Mark W. Spong, dean of the Erik Jonsson School of Engineering and Computer Science at UT Dallas and holder of the Lars Magnus Ericsson Chair in Electrical Engineering. “The UT Dallas portion of the program will emphasize an interdisciplinary approach to biomedical engineering, combining expertise in electrical, mechanical and materials engineering, coupled with the life sciences.”
Having received approval for the biomedical engineering program from the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, UT Dallas now offers 29 areas of doctoral studies.
Graduates from the program are expected to be sought after by medical facilities, universities and biotechnology companies. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates the need for biomedical engineers will increase by 21 percent through 2016. That demand is driven in large part by biomedical engineering’s promise both to improve health care quality and to lower costs.
UT Dallas projects an initial enrollment of 20 full-time students per year, growing to more than 70 in five years. Current enrollment in the UT Southwestern-UT Arlington program in biomedical engineering is approximately 150 graduate students.
The seven core UT Dallas faculty associated with the program have actively engaged in nearly $10 million in research in the past three years. Several additional faculty will be added in the next five years. As part of the program, UT Dallas expects to develop classes in biological robotics, wireless bio-sensor networks and the use of nanomaterials in biological systems.
UT Dallas, UT Southwestern and UT Arlington already collaborate on numerous research projects through the Advanced Imaging Research Center, the UT Dallas Callier Center for Communication Disorders and other joint research programs. The new program should further solidify the relationship among the three institutions.
Two other public universities in Texas offer graduate programs in biomedical engineering: UT Austin and Texas A&M University. But biomedical engineering is a very broad field, and UT Dallas intends to differentiate its program by focusing on certain areas: electronic sensors and devices; neuroscience and engineering; surgical procedures and interventions; bio/nano applications to materials and medicine; new technologies for cancer detection, control and treatment; and advanced imaging research.
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